Lifeguards have reiterated calls for longer hours and additional towers after a nine year old boy who was brought to shore unconscious at Germasoyia, Limassol, on Monday died later in hospital.
Spokesman Andreas Isichiou told Radio Active on Tuesday that eight people have lost their lives in that area in the past 12 years. The need for more towers and for lifeguards to be on duty for more hours is a longstanding demand, he added.
The statements came as the Kinyras Paphos lifeguard association said three people had been rescued yesterday — two by an off duty lifeguard — and asked for an extension of their hours.
Isochiou said along the specific beach, which is popular with swimmers, there is a 5 km stretch with no lifeguard unit.
“We should have three lifeguard points in the area,” he said, adding that valuable time was lost in helping the boy.
Yesterday, the child was spotted unconscious a little after 10 am and brought to shore. A lifeguard, who starts works at 10.30 am, ran a kilometre in order to administer first aid while colleagues from another tower brought oxygen and a defibrillator.
Although doctors were able to revive and intubate the boy at Limassol Hospital he died hours later in the ICU on Nicosia’ Makarios Hospital. Lifeguards have said the child had an injury on the head, and one possibility being examined is that he hit his head and lost consciousness.
Isichiou again appealed to Germasoyia Municipality and Limassol district office to set up at least two new lifeguard towers there.
He also said hours need to be extended so that there are lifeguards on duty from early in the morning until late in the evening.
And he noted that two other people had been rescued at Olympion beach yesterday with lifeguards on duty there responding immediately.
There were also two separate incidents in Paphos yesterday where three people ran into difficulty in the water and needed help.
According to the Kinyras Paphos lifeguard association, at around 7 pm a surfer had helped a woman who was unable to return to shore because of rough seas.
In the second instance, at 7.30 pm two young girls aged 16 and 17 were rescued by an off duty lifeguard who happened to be at the beach bar after clocking off.
Lifeguard hours are 10.30 am to 6 pm and this must be reviewed as there are many people swimming both before and after these hours, the association said.