Another death in the sea in Tenerife

A 58-year-old German swimmer died shortly after 5pm this afternoon in the sea in front of the Mirador del Duque, Adeje. Emergency services were called at 5.16pm witih reports from other beach users that the man’s body had been seen floating in the sea. A GES helicopter found the poor man and winched him aboard and flew him to shore, where he was found to be in cardiac arrest. Despite prolonged attempts to resuscitate him, however, by lifeguards and first aiders as well as bomberos and paramedics, nothing could be done to revive him and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Cardiac arrest in the water is a known symptom of cold water shock, a condition responsible for far too many deaths in the sea here. Cold water shock can affect people even with water temperature of up to 25º, it’s not just freezing water that is dangerous, and the water around the Canaries’ doesn’t get above 24°C (75°F) even in August. Technically, therefore, it’s always “cold”, and bathers can get into difficulties within five minutes.

Just to be specific about symptoms, normal body temperature is 98.6º; shivering begins when the body temperature lowers to approximately 96.5º; amnesia and coordination problems begin to set in at approximately 94º, unconsciousness at 86º, and death, normally from cardiac arrest, at approximately 79º … and 79º is 4º above our normal high season water temperatures! Please read my page HERE for information on all this and for recommendations on how to stay safe in waters around Tenerife.

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