Cyprus Mail

Investigation into death of spear-fisher ongoing, shipping ministry says

File photo

The circumstances surrounding the death of a 40-year-old man who died in Larnaca earlier this week after he was hit by a speedboat propeller while spear fishing underwater, are still being investigated, the deputy shipping ministry said on Friday.

Stelios (Steven) Archontous from Sia was found injured in the sea at around 2pm in Larnaca on Sunday. He died due to injuries sustained after he was hit by a speedboat propeller.

The deputy ministry in an announcement sought to stress that it was yet to be confirmed whether the fisherman had a buoy or if it got away while he saw swimming.

“More information is expected within the next few days. Accidents involving people using a speargun have happened in the past, even with fishermen who had a buoy with the appropriate flat.”

Permits to fishermen to use a speargun are only granted by the fisheries department provided a buoy is used, the announcement said.

Archontous had the necessary permit, the deputy minister specified.

The 44-year-old speedboat driver was arrested and then released after the incident.

The announcement reminds the public that the use of a buoy is a condition set by the department of fisheries and marine research for the issuance of an amateur snorkelling licence.

“Underwater fishermen are required to carry a floating plastic buoy plastic in yellow, orange or red, which carries a mast with a red flag with a white diagonal line and which is visible under normal conditions from a distance of at least 300 metres,” the announcement said.

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