It’s been a very fortunate few days for some who had close brushes with death here in Tenerife. Today, a three-year-old French girl nearly drowned in the Hotel Suite Villa María between Adeje Golf and La Caleta, with emergency services saying that they were called out just before lunchtime with reports that the child had fallen into the hotel’s swimming pool and had been pulled out unconscious by the resident lifeguard who was trying to resuscitate her. Thankfully his efforts were successful and attending medics stabilized her and then transferred her to a local hospital where her condition is said to be comfortable.
The incident followed three others which happened on Wednesday. First, a 41-year-old worker pruning palm trees in Icod de los Vinos suffered a heart attack just before 9am, and emergency services say that it was passers-by who alerted them to the problem the man was having while suspended some 12m up the tree. Bomberos were needed to bring the man down to the ground where ambulance crew were able to resuscitate him and transfer him to HUC after he was stabilized at the scene. He is in serious condition, but recovering.
Within three hours, a helicopter was rescuing a walker who was taken ill while hiking in Montaña Blanca in the caldera. Emergency services received a call shortly before midday that the 67-year-old man was unable to continue on foot and so a helicopter was dispatched to transfer him too to HUC. It is not clear that it was a case of altitude sickness but the public is reminded that people are all too often unprepared, and are perhaps not in the correct health, to enjoy the area because Teide is a staggering 3,718m high, making it the highest point in Spain and the third highest volcano in the world. The caldera, and indeed the national park generally, has an average altitude of over 2,000m, and atmospheric changes start at an altitude of around 2,500m. This can cause altitude sickness, but more specifically, can cause problems for those suffering heart and lung conditions, who can also begin to suffer repercussions at lower altitudes. Such people are advised not to go above the level of the caldera, and so should not go up in the cable car, nor to try to ascend the peak of Teide itself. Those with severe heart or lung conditions would be well advised not actually to go even as high as the caldera itself. In this case, the man was flown to TFN La Laguna, and then an ambulance transferred him to hospital where his condition is said to be comfortable.
Finally, an hour later, a diver was resuscitated from a heart attack he suffered while diving in Las Galletas harbour. Emergency services say that they were called out around 1pm with reports that a 49-year-old Lithuanian was unconscious and in a serious condition after being pulled out of the water in which he was diving. Ambulance crew managed to resuscitate him after long and considerable efforts and he was then stabilized and transferred to hospital where his condition remains serious.