Over the weekend, emergency services and beach lifeguards were called to attend to ten individuals in distress along the coasts of Tenerife, Gran Canaria, and Lanzarote in the Canary Islands due to rough sea conditions and accidents near areas with strong waves, as reported by the Emergency and Security Coordination Centre (Cecoes) 1-1-2.
In Tenerife, the Canary Islands Government’s Emergency and Rescue Group (GES) helicopters were involved in two rescue operations on Saturday, both at Playa de Rojas in the municipality of El Sauzal.
In the first incident, a swimmer found himself unable to return to shore, prompting a response from 1-1-2 Canarias, which activated the rescue team. The individual was airlifted by the GES aircraft and brought to land for medical evaluation, along with another person who had managed to reach safety independently.
In the second case, several people near a lookout point in the same area were swept away by a sudden sea surge. One person clung to the rocks, while another ventured into open water, separating from the breaker. The helicopter rescued the swimmer from open water and transported her to land. Both individuals suffered multiple contusions and erosions and were taken by ambulance to the Hospital Universitario de Canarias.
On Sunday afternoon at El Bobo beach in Adeje, a man with signs of drowning was attended to by lifeguards after being found on the rocks. After cardiopulmonary resuscitation, he was transported to the hospital in a serious condition.
In Gran Canaria, two individuals with signs of drowning were also assisted. On Saturday, beach lifeguards rescued a man at the old pier in Agaete, and on Sunday, Red Cross teams performed CPR on another swimmer retrieved from the sea at Las Canteras beach. Both were transported by Islands Emergency Service (SUC) ambulances to the University Hospital of Gran Canaria Dr. Negrín, where they were admitted in serious condition.
Additionally, in Gran Canaria, surfers assisted a distressed swimmer at Puertillo beach in Arucas, who did not suffer major injuries.
Lastly, in Lanzarote at Las Conchas beach, located in the municipality of Teguise, the SUC provided assistance to a woman who managed to make her way out of the water after experiencing distress approximately 50 meters from the shore, and she was subsequently transported to a medical centre.
On the previous Friday, the regional government declared a pre-alert situation for coastal phenomena across the islands, in accordance with the Specific Canary Islands Emergency Plan for Adverse Meteorological Phenomena Risks (PEFMA). This situation is expected to remain in place until Monday.
The adverse sea conditions primarily affected the north and west coasts of El Hierro, La Palma, and Lanzarote; the north coast of La Gomera, Tenerife, and Gran Canaria; as well as the west coast of Fuerteventura.
The government of the Canary Islands emphasizes the importance of the population taking extreme precautions in such situations and adhering to self-protection advice at all times to mitigate risks.