The 52-year-old Russian tourist, found floating dead in the sea on Wednesday off Protaras, died from multiple injuries, police said on Thursday.
The man’s body, which appeared to have been hit by a boat, was spotted at around 1pm around 400 metres from the shore by men on board a fishing boat, who alerted the police.
He was brought to land by marine police and was transferred to the Famagusta general hospital. Police said that state pathologist Sophocles Sophocleous, who examined the body, found injuries believed to have been caused by a boat.
The post mortem which was carried out on Thursday indicated that his death was caused from multiple injuries, due to a marine accident, police said.
The victim reportedly had deep wounds along his right side, from the neck down to his feet, which indicated he had been injured by a propeller. Police are still trying to locate the boat.
The man was in Cyprus with his wife for a ten-day holiday, and was to depart on May 31.
A source told the Cyprus Mail that on Wednesday it was very windy in Protaras, and the sea was wavy and if the man was swimming far from the shore, “there is no way he was visible to boats”.
The Cyprus Lifeguards Association urged members of the public on Thursday to abide by the rules when at sea to avoid similar incidents.
In an announcement, the group said that drivers of speedboats are not allowed to pass buoys and enter swimmers’ areas. Swimmers too, it said, should remain within the area marked by the buoys and should “in no way swim past them”.
According to the Paralimni municipality’s beach inspector Giorgos Economou, rules on the operation of speedboats are regulated by law. He said that speed boats are all those sea vessels that are under 15 metres long and can go more than 15 knots. Jet skis fall into that category.
“Speedboats must stay clear at least 100 metres from the coastline,” Economou told the Cyprus Mail. He added that as regards swimmers, even though the law does not prohibit them to swim past the buoys, they should either wear a bright cap or something that will be visible to speed boats.
In cases where jet skiers, or users of other vessels, enter the swimmers’ area or behave in a way that endangers swimmers, lifeguards report this to the marine police, which patrols the waters, he said. Marine police are also in charge of checking documents of jet skiers and other vessels, when out at sea.
He added that water sports businesses take all measures to abide by the law, because they face harsh penalties if they don’t. “They could even lose their licences”, Economou said, or in case they rent a jet ski to someone who is not allowed to use it, and he or she causes an accident, they are also liable too.
Economou said that at least in Paralimni, all jet skis rented out by water sports businesses are equipped with a wireless system which enables the owners to detect whether the user has entered the swimmers’ area and can remotely switch off the jet ski.
He added that all speed boats used by water sports businesses are checked annually by the department of merchant shipping and only if they are up to standards they receive a licence.