Cyprus Mail

Lifeguards say longer hours would save more lives

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Lifeguards suggested on Saturday that two people who lost their lives while in the sea could have been saved, as the demanded an extension of their working hours during the autumn months.

Chairman of the lifeguard association Andreas Isihiou said the two incidents had taken place 30 and 15 minutes apart respectively after the towers closed.

On Friday, a 61-year-old Polish man was found unconscious in the sea off Ayios Tychonas in Limassol at around 5.30pm.

One of the area’s lifeguard towers was closed for the season while the other shuts down at 5pm, at a time when the beach is full of people, Isihiou said.

“If there were lifeguards in the area maybe the unfortunate tourist would still be alive,” he told the Cyprus News Agency.

A similar incident took place last Wednesday in which a woman, 69, lost her life at Paphos’ public baths. It happened at 5.15pm and the tower had closed 15 minutes earlier.

Isihiou said there were 20 drownings this year in Cyprus and 75 rescues. Over 500 incidents also took place involving cardiac arrests, strokes, etc.

“We are trained, we know CPR, we have defibrillators, oxygen, and other means with which we can intervene immediately,” he said.

Isihiou urged the authorities to bring back the dawn to dusk timetable – 7am to 6pm – for October and November.

Lifeguards should also be on duty at main beaches during the winter months, he added.

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