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DROWNING

British tourist in Spain drowns after falling off pedal boat

A 31-year-old British man on holiday in Catalonia has died after falling off a pedal boat he had hired and being swept out to sea.

British tourist in Spain drowns after falling off pedal boat
Photo: Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker/Flickr

The man was spotted by witnesses struggling to keep afloat in the water after he had rented a pedal boat at Regueral beach in the town of Cambrils on Sunday.

Emergency services were alerted but it was other beachgoers who initially pulled the man out of the water. By that stage he was in an unconscious state, online daily El Confidencial reported. 

Upon arrival, the medical team performed CPR on the 31 year old but were unable to resuscitate him.

The possible reasons why the man fell off his rented pedal boat remain unknown.

Lifeguards at Regueral beach had hoisted the green flag at the time, meaning it was safe to swim.

Last May, a five-year-old girl died at the nearby Pineda beach after the inflatable donut she was on was dragged out to sea.

Spain’s Civil Protection unit has warned beachgoers “to be vigilant, to choose beaches whenever possible that are manned by lifeguards and to respect the safety flag (green: swimming allowed, yellow: lots of caution, red: swimming not allowed).
 

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DROWNING

More than 480 people drowned in Spain during 2017

Those most at risk of drowning are men over the age of 35 who choose to swim at a beach where there are no lifeguards present.

More than 480 people drowned in Spain during 2017
File photo: Romano Perelli

New data has revealed that a total of 481 people drowned at Spanish swimming spots during the whole of 2017, a rise of ten percent on the year before.

Spain’s national lifeguard federation published the figure as 2017 came to a close reporting that during the course of the year 2,487 people were saved after getting difficulty in the water.

The report does not include data for those migrants who drowned or were rescued while trying to reach Spain from the coast of north Africa but centres on incidents that took place on beaches, lakes and at swimming pools across mainland Spain and the Canary and Balearic Islands.

Not surprisingly the data reveals that the most drownings occurred during the height of the summer holiday season, with 95 deaths in July, 71 in August and 70 in June.

The biggest number of deaths occurred in the Canary Islands where 93 people drowned in 2017, followed by Andalusia (74 deaths), Valencia region (67 deaths), Galicia (58 deaths) and then Catalonia ( 44 deaths).

The Balearic Islands recorded 28 drownings.

READ ALSO: Couple drown after ignoring red flag

The report revealed that the typical profile of a drowning victim was not in fact a child, weak swimmer or drunk young tourist but a Spanish man over the age of 35 who swam off a beach where there was no lifeguard in attendance.

It showed that 80 percent of those that died were male, 73 percent were Spanish, 71.9 percent were over 35 years-old and that more than half of drownings occurred at a beach (52 percent) and 90percent of them when there was no lifeguard service present.

The data does not include migrants who drowned or were rescued by lifeboats as they attempted to cross the Mediterranean into Spain.

The latest figures suggest that at least 223 people have died or disappeared while trying to reach Spain by boat, 95 more than in 2016.

By year end it is thought that 3,116 migrants have died or disappeared while trying to cross the Mediterranean into Europe, down from 4,967 last year, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).