Updated 14 January: Two people drowned just after half past one this afternoon in the sea at La Charca de La Laja in San Juan de la Rambla. Emergency services say that search and rescue helicopters, lifeboats, bomberos, ambulance crew, Policía Local and Guardia Civil have all been involved in the operation, which saw two people also recovered and transferred to hospital. The incident apparently originated with one person in trouble, but three others entered the water attempting to save him: sadly, one of these died in the effort. Both dead men are said to have been Lithuanian. The two injured, a man and woman of 36 and 37 years of age, themselves needed rescuing and are said to have been suffering hypothermia and to have received various contusions. The sea is rough at present, and about to get rougher, as I posted HERE earlier today. Please exercise extreme caution in or near the water.
Original post 2 January: In Tenerife’s first drowning of 2018, a man died at Playa El Confital in El Médano. Emergency services say that they were called out shortly before 2pm with reports that someone had got into difficulties in the water and that fellow bathers had managed to get him onto dry land. Sadly, however, medical personnel who attended the incident could do nothing for him and he was declared dead at the scene.
There are no details about this man, nor about the specific reason he died, but I’ll repeat here in the first post of this thread in 2018 that cardiac arrest in the sea is a symptom of cold water shock, which can affect people even with water temperature of up to 25ºC, 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. And so, regardless of the time of year, even in high summer, Tenerife’s waters are technically cold. Bathers can get into difficulties within five minutes.
To be specific about symptoms, normal body temperature is 98.6ºF; shivering begins when the body temperature lowers to approximately 96.5º; amnesia and coordination problems begin to set in at approximately 94ºF, unconsciousness at 86ºF, and death, normally from cardiac arrest, at approximately 79ºF … and 79ºF is 4º above our normal high season water temperatures!
Please be aware of the dangers of the sea here, and not just the problems associated with “cold water”, but also the warning flags that fly on our beaches, rip tides and undertow, all issues that bathers need to know about. Please read THIS page on staying safe in Tenerife waters. Above all, however, please don’t interpret this information as a warning not to go in the water. What it is is advice to go in the water with care, forearmed because forewarned … and therefore able to enjoy the sea safely.