A 60-YEAR-OLD woman died on Wednesday after a small vessel she was in with another four people capsized off the Xylofagou coast near the red cliffs.
Niki Christofidi, from Lythrodontas had been on the boat with her husband and son as well as two other relatives, as part of a family outing.
They had departed from Ormidia, passed through Cape Greco and when returning to the Dhekelia bases area, water started filling the boat causing it to eventually capsize.
Christofidi’s 38-year-old son was operating the boat.
According to a statement by the joint rescue coordination centre, they received an urgent call at 2.09pm sounding the alarm over five Cypriots at the coastal area at Xylofagou in Famagusta.
“A small vessel, which had five people on board capsized and sank close to the coast likely due to turbulent waters.”
The national plan Nearchos was put in place for the rescue where a helicopter and two small boats from the Ayia Napa and Larnaca marine police as well as that of the port were sent to the scene.
A vessel from the Dhekelia British bases and a civilian vessel were also deployed.
“After intense search operations through both airborne and waterborne means, four people were found and saved but one woman was unfortunately found dead.”
Deputy Dhekelia police chief Andreas Pitsillides said the father and son managed to swim to shore and were helped by bases police officers while the other two relatives were rescued by the helicopter.
The four survivors were taken to Larnaca general hospital for tests.
Christofidi was washed up on the shore unconscious. A doctor pronounced her dead at 4pm.
The joint rescue coordination centre later called on the public to follow safety regulations and avoid going out to sea when there are adverse weather conditions.
Those on vessels must have lifejackets and in case of danger call channel 16 or the rescue centre’s number 1441, the statement said.