Body of missing El Medano windsurfer found

Photo: 112 Canarias
Photo: 112 Canarias

Update 4.15pm: The Guardia Civil has confirmed, as anticipated, that the body is indeed that of the missing British windsurfer.

Update 8 March: Sadly, emergency services have announced that a fishing vessel has found a body in the sea near the Punta Rasca area. It is not yet confirmed that it is that of the missing British windsurfer, but it does seem likely. The lifeboat Una Salvamar is bringing the poor soul into Los Cristianos harbour at the moment, where the Guardia Civil are waiting to take control of the situation.

Update 7 March: The windsurfer missing since around 5.30pm yesterday afternoon is now said to be a 64-year-old British man. There is still no news about his discovery.

Original post 6 March: A search is underway this evening for a windsurfer who has disappeared off the coast of El Medano. Involved in the operation are a search and rescue helicopter, Protección Civil, Guardia Civil and the lifeboat Salvamar Alpheratz. The above photo has been released by the emergency services.


  1. Janet, do you have contacts with the search and rescue? We saw the helicopter searching the El Medano bay Thursday evening around 8pm. But with the current and wind I’d be amazed if anyone who had been in the bay during daylight was still there a couple of hours later.

    If they want to be able to find people they really ought to do some drift tests in different conditions so they can work out a suitable area to search.

    Cheers, Phil

  2. Author

    They do, Phil, I can assure you of that much. They are experts in the particular conditions of the waters around these islands.

  3. Hi,

    I really struggle to believe that. There is simply no way anyone lost before 6pm could have been where they were looking at 8pm.

    On a different note, did you ever hear anything about what caused the death of the Ukrainian Windsurfer in Feb?

    Cheers, Phil

  4. Author

    No Phil, sorry, there was no more reported. On the general issue, I fear you would offend the authorities here mightily … they really do know these waters, and despite foreigners’ views (and sometimes despite all appearances) really are trained up to the minute.

  5. I have seen the SAR heli searching for the ukranian and for the british surfer. I do not have the impression they use a correct search pattern. I do not have the impression they have the necessarry equipment since they stop there search at Sunset and start again at sunrise.

  6. Janet,

    In this case, they really are not as good as you believe them to be. It is sad that they are likely to be offended. It is equally sad that they simply are not right. This Bay is our (resident windsurfers) back yard. We know how it works better than anyone studying some charts done many years ago. I haven’t seen any training exercises in this specific area since I have been here and no-one I know has seen them in the preceding years either.

    Both of the missing windsurfers have been found by fishing boats many days later and a long way along the coast. So clearly they weren’t looking in the right place for either of them, were they?

    It is incorrect though that they stop at dusk. It was completely dark when I watched them at around 8pm and they were using a light to comb the Bay. But by then anyone who had been in the Bay at say 6pm would be most likely be about level with La Tajita.

    Given where the most recent person was found, we are looking at around 5km per day. This gives a drift rate of around 200m per hour. But the current in the bay and around Montana Roja is stronger than the open sea, so we are probably talking double that until they are level with La Tajita. This is in line with what we experience windsurfing here.

    I would much rather cause offense than let them continue in the belief that they are doing a good job and searching in the correct locations. Can you let me know someone I can speak to to voice my concerns?

    Cheers, Phil

  7. Author

    Best people to speak to, really, are the emergency services themselves. THIS should be where you start.

  8. Hi, sorry to divert off the recent comments.
    I was windsurfing in the bay on the day that the gentleman went missing. Earlier in the week I had noticed up to 20 washed up Portuguese man o war’s on the beach. This was on the Sunday and the wind really picked up during the week. By Thursday the water became calmer and I noticed a few jellyfish out on the water whilst sailing. I’m thinking during rougher sea movements you get less jellyfish that float with the currents. I did mention my sightings to various local people and they said the jellyfish don’t seem to bother surfers.
    I do hope that the poor gentleman didn’t become a victim to this potentially deadly jellyfish. What is your opinion on this?

  9. Author

    I’m not aware of the autopsy results, so would only be speculating on the cause of death, but certainly there are times when these creatures swarm into shore … and this has been the case lately.

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