By George Psyllides
STATE services were later this week due to inspect the Ayia Napa establishment where an 18-year-old holiday maker drowned on Monday to issue it a swimming pool license.
A post mortem carried out on Tuesday showed that British Cypriot Savvakis Alexandrou had drowned in the swimming pool of the apartment complex, which, as it later transpired, had no operating license from the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO).
Nor did it have a swimming pool license from the municipality.
Police arrested the owners – a father and son aged 63 and 33 – on Monday and released them on Tuesday pending possible charges at a later date.
CTO tourism director Lefkos Phylaktides said the specific establishment had been operating without a license after inspections found substantial shortcomings.
But the findings were not directly linked to the operation of the swimming pool, which fell under the authority of the municipality.
Phylaktides said the CTO had secured a court order to suspend the establishment’s operation but a grace period of two to three months was given – understood to be standard procedure – to give time to the business to comply.
It failed and the CTO was in the process of securing a non-compliance order when the incident happened.
Ayia Napa Mayor Yiannos Karousos Tuesday told the state broadcaster that the owner had applied for a swimming pool permit over two months ago. He added however, that the municipality did not know about the CTO’s differences with the establishment.
To secure the permit, the pool must be cleared by the municipality’s health service and the state’s electromechanical services.
The local authority had inspected the pool and conveyed several observations concerning minor issues to the owner.
The owner contacted the health service that he had complied and an inspection was to take place in the next few days before issuing the health certificate.
Karousos said it was not the owner’s fault but that of the other services, which were late.
However, the electromechanical services inspection was scheduled for Thursday.
“This is the problem we face in general with all operating licenses we issue,” Karousos said, highlighting the state services’ inability to cope.
Licenses must be obtained every year and according to Karousos, despite many owners applying in January, they are eventually issued in September or October since they had to be cleared by the health services, the electromechanical services, and the fire service.
“You realise how long it will take to issue a license when they have to inspect 600 places two and three times,” he said.
Alexandrou was discovered at the bottom of the complex’s swimming pool on Monday at 7am by other guests. He was given CPR at the poolside but was pronounced dead at Paralimni general hospital after being taken there by ambulance.
The teenager had been staying at the apartments since August 8 and was due to go home on Saturday.