By Bejay Browne
THE death of a Russian tourist after being hit by a speedboat in the sea off CoralBay in Peyia on Sunday has shocked local officials and residents who say this is the first such accident in the area in the past 30 years.
Head of the Peyia beaches committee Nikos Konnikos spoke to the Cyprus Mail, describing the death as tragic.
“This is so sad and I believe that the police are still investigating this accident, so I can’t comment further,” he said on Monday. “I am from Peyia and I can’t remember any accident such as this one occurring in the past 30 years, generally CoralBay is a very safe area.”
CoralBay in Peyia is one of Paphos’ most popular beaches with both tourists and locals, who flock to the area to enjoy the sandy beach and clear blue waters. It is especially popular with families.
According to Paphos police, Konstantin Maltsev, 35, was swimming with his 63-year-old father, Michael, when they were both hit by a speedboat pulling a dinghy carrying in two tourists, at about 12.30pm on Sunday.
Police and local life guards say the two men were about a kilometre from the shore, swimming far outside the designated area for swimmers, which is marked by buoys.
The speedboat driver said he heard a loud noise followed by someone screaming. He went back to see if someone needed assistance, picked up the two men and carried them to shore.
It’s believed that Konstantin Maltsev was hit by the speedboat’s propeller, as wounds were visible all down his left hand side, from his forehead to his thigh. He was declared dead on arrival at Paphos hospital. His father was given first aid and released.
The speedboat’s driver tested negative for alcohol.
Paphos police spokesman Nicos Tsappis confirmed yesterday that the driver of the speedboat had been detained in connection with the incident and is being held by police.
“It’s too early along in our investigations yet to say if this is an accident or not,” he said. “We are currently taking witness statements and experts are carrying out a number of specific checks on the boat.”
In a twist of fate, it’s understood that the 35-year-old speedboat driver, a licensed water sports operator, was one of two people recently honoured by the local municipality and the ports police for saving a number of swimmers who had got into trouble in rough seas.
“This is a very unusual incident; I don’t ever remember a situation like this in the area,” Tsappis said
Konstantin arrived in Cyprus for a holiday with his parents and brother on September 29.