Successful Rescue Is Good News After Multiple Drownings In Past Weeks
A Russian bather was successfully rescued by local lifeguards in the Cancun Hotel Zone. The dramatic rescue was good news after a string of tragic drownings have taken place in the area over the past month.
According to reports, the Russian tourist was swimming in Playa Gaviota Azul, a popular stretch of beach in the hotel zone. While swimming, he became caught in a riptide that pulled him further out to sea near a sandbank.
Other bathers heard him screaming for help and the lifeguards patrolling the area were alerted. Two lifeguards sprung into action and were able to successfully bring the visitor back to shore. Upon his return to the shore, the lifeguards and paramedics ensured he was healthy and he was able to spend the rest of the day at the beach.
The safety flag being flown at the time of the rescue was yellow, suggesting moderate danger for swimmers. At a moderate level, swimmers can expect some riptides and strong currents, as well as occasionally strong waves. Confident swimmers should be fine in these conditions but should exercise caution as always.
Unfortunately, recent incidents in the area have not ended as well. The local government has been increasing the lifeguard presence in the region after a number of tragic incidents. The most high profile was that of a Paraguayan bather who entered the water after the patrolled hours of 9 AM until 6 PM. His friends saw him go under the water after being pulled out by a riptide. His body was discovered several days later but was not identified for another month.
Another particularly sad day over the Easter break saw two swimmers drown in one day. The second of the two could have been significantly worse if it wasn’t for the lifeguards on duty. Video of the incident showed as many as ten people struggling to leave the water as aggressive waves pound the shore. Nearby, the lifeless body of a man is dragged from the water. Resuscitation attempts failed and he was pronounced dead on the scene.
Multiple other deaths have occurred despite the efforts of the local lifeguards. Locals and visitors alike have fallen victim to the power of the sea.
Many of these incidents have involved tourists ignoring red flags on the beach. A red flag signifies a high risk of drowning due to strong waves and riptides. Despite the warnings, tourists are forgoing their own safety and even placing lifeguards in danger too. Any tourists visiting Quintana Roo’s beaches should heed the warnings given to them to avert any potential tragedy.
Some of the incidents have been unavoidable despite the care taken by lifeguards and those involved. A 72-year-old American man died while snorkeling in Playa del Carmen last week. The expected cause of death was a heart attack, something that could not be prevented. His body floated for almost ten miles before being recovered by local services.
Similarly, last week another Russian sadly died while diving in a cenote near Tulum. The Russian in this case was an experienced diver but apparently ran out of oxygen after meeting problems in the cenote. Although this incident was outside of the protection of the lifeguards, it remains a sad event that should remind all visitors of the risks of such activities.
It is unclear if the increased lifeguard presence has continued after the busy Easter period, but anyone hoping to enjoy the Caribbean Sea on a vacation to Cancun should take care to ensure they don’t run into any problems.
Anyone caught in a riptide should make sure they remain calm, swim parallel to the shoreline, or let it carry them out until they feel the pull stop. Most riptides only go around 25 meters from the coast, and the majority of the deaths occur when swimmers panic, tire themselves and drown.
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