Update 8 April: The two women have now been named by the British press as Consultant obstetrician Uma Ramalingam, 42, and Barathi Ravikumar, a 39-year-old GP. The press in the UK is naturally focusing on the family, and on the heroism shown by a holidaymaker in the 5* Roca Nivaria hotel: a father himself, he is said to have heard the commotion from the rocks below and raced down and jumped in the water to save the two children. Social networks have been asking where were the lifeguards – how could this tragedy happen when the council is obliged to provide lifeguards – as we all know from neighbouring Arona’s failure to staff their beaches adequately.
This, however, is where the problem arises. The Canarian press has been somewhat muted over the incident, but today the simple facts cannot be denied and are now being reported. This family was not at an official beach, one where lifeguards are provided as a matter of course. They were at some rocks near a sea that was clearly really quite rough, and the sad but inevitable question arises as to whether there was some imprudence or carelessness on the family’s part. It is always very difficult to say this, of course, in the wake of such an event, but the Guardia Civil itself is investigating this as one of the more likely causes of the tragedy.
Update 7 April: Details emerging this morning suggest that two of the women had gone into the sea to try to rescue their children, with help from third woman, the children having been swept off a rock into the water and finding it difficult to get back onto land. The tragedy happened near the 5* Roca Nivaria hotel, though this is not thought to be where they were staying while on holiday in Tenerife. The victims have not been identified but are said to be British-Indian.
Original post 6 April: Two British women died this evening after they got into difficulty in the water at Playa Paraiso. Emergency services activated ambulances, a helicopter, police and bomberos after receiving reports at 6pm that five people were in difficulty. They arrived to find that two women and two children had already been pulled from the water by the public; a third woman was found by the helicopter and discovered to be in cardiac arrest, and paramedics tried to resuscitate her as they flew her to land. A doctor from a local health centre also attended the scene along with another doctor there by chance, but despite their efforts, they could do no more than confirm the death at the scene of the woman rescued by helicopter and one of the two rescued by the public. The two fatalities were 40 and 43 years old; the third woman was 38 years old; she, together with a 10-year-old child, was transferred to Hospiten Sur where they are said not to be seriously ill. A 14-year-old child was treated at the scene for minor injuries. No doubt there will be further details in due course.