Seven people were injured, one of them seriously, when they were swept away by a wave while bathing in a natural pool in Los Gigantes, in the municipality of Santiago del Teide.
Most of the injured, six women and one man between the ages of 25 and 57, suffered blows, wounds, abrasions and dislocations. The most delicate case found by the health services upon arrival at the scene was that of a 46-year-old woman with severe head trauma. Another 25-year-old woman was evacuated with moderate trauma to her face and a third, 35-year-old, with a severe blow to the head.
The rest of those affected had open wounds on their legs, dislocations on their fingers and minor trauma to the chest. All were taken by ambulance to the Hospital del Sur and Hospiten Sur.
The sea shock surprised the bathers in the natural pool of Isla Cangrejo, protected from the waves by a concrete wall, although the high tide and the strong waves turn the place into a trap.
As Sebastián Quintana, promoter of the 1,500 km Coastal Platform, explained to this newspaper, this natural area lacks a lifeguard service. The expert indicated that the Canary Islands have around 500 similar places and recalled that almost 20% of the fatal aquatic accidents recorded this year occurred in natural pools, puddles and ponds.
Quintana insisted that one of the most common errors that give rise to these accidents is the mistaken thought of the bather to believe that he is safe from currents in this type of perimeter enclosures: “Since the wave arrives, the sea level rises inside from the puddle or natural pool and that mass of water will impact against the rocks and from there it reverses its path in the land-sea direction at high speed, dragging everything in front of it. There the bathers cannot do anything, they are dragged by the strong rip current and they are going to hit the rocks or the walls”.
The expert pointed out that another of the errors in this type of event is trying to reach the shore. “If the bather has not lost consciousness due to the blows against the rocks, he tends to swim towards the shore and will run out of strength and his body will be impacted by the waves against the rocks. He should get away from the shore, allowing himself to be carried away by the current, reserve energy and wave his arms to try to be seen from land ”.