A total of 63 people have already drowned in the Canary Islands from Januaryto November 2016, a figure that now exceeds the number of deaths recorded for the whole of 2015, with 62 drownings, according to data from “Canarias, 1500 km de Costa” a campaign to prevent accidents in the aquatic environment.
The total number of incidents detected so far in the aquatic environment during 2016 amounts to 138. The data so far for the 2016 in Canarias shows Tenerife with 20 deaths, followed by Gran Canaria (16), and a notable increase in drownings in Fuerteventura, with 10 drownings, Lanzarote (9), La Gomera (2), while El Hierro is at 0. The average profile of a drowning victim is an adult male, between 50 and 75 years old, a beach user of foreign origin
The Canary Islands have 1,500 km of coast line, over 500 beaches, various other aquatic environments and a lot of swimming pools. Here are the official recommendations :
Bathing and other activities in the sea.
Choose well the type of beach you visit depending on whether you can swim, your age and whether you are going to the seaside with children, who must be supervised constantly.
If you are not competent swimmers, or if you are visiting the seaside as a family, you should choose a calm, accessible beach that has a lifeguard.
You should remember to check if any weather warnings are in force via : 112canarias.com, the media, or at your hotel.
- If any warnings are in force, it is advisable to postpone going to the seaside for another day
- Never dive into shallow water.
- Do not bathe after consuming alcohol or taking drugs.
- On windy days or in areas with strong currents never use inflatable lilos or flotation rings, which may drift away from the shore.
- If you see a bather in difficulty, do not attempt to rescue him/her, but immediately call the emergency services on 1-1-2 and, if possible, throw towards the bather anything that might act as a buoyancy aid.
Do not bathe alone; go to the beach accompanied
Ask the locals or any surfers which parts of the beach are dangerous
Enter the water slowly, keep a check on the depth; swim parallel to the shore at a depth you can stand in, especially if there are seaward currents.
On beaches that have a lifeguard
It is important to be aware of any designated watersports areas
Remember the flag warning colours:
Green : safe,
Yellow : Caution! be careful and aware of changes
Red : Do not swim!
It is important to remain aware of any advice issued by the lifeguard, and to heed all warnings
If you are in difficulty or feel unwell, try to leave the water; if you are unable to, wave your arms to draw the attention of others and remain calm.