British man dies on Torrox beach

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© Ayuntamiento de Malaga
FATEFUL SCENE: El Peñoncillo beach, Torrox.

A BRITISH man who was on holiday with his wife and two daughters on the Costa Tropical lost his life in Torrox on Sunday, August 21, after he ignored or failed to see the flying red flags.

The tragic events unfolded around 2.30pm on El Peñoncillo beach, in the area known as Los Cuartos Catalanes or El Corral de las Vacas.

Although westerly winds had whipped up choppy conditions and lifeguards had raised the red flag, signifying that it was too dangerous to swim, the man and his 10-year-old daughter entered the water.

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An emergency call was dialed in when beachgoers noticed that the 40-year-old man and the young girl were in trouble, with witnesses describing how they were pulled out by a strong riptide.

A number of people teamed up to help the stricken pair, including an off-duty Guardia Civil officer and a 50-year-old man who had to be saved himself having first rescued the girl.

Two lifeguards then braved the treacherous conditions to pull her father from the water, and his life did not initially appear to be in any danger, since he “seemed ok, and conscious.” 

Once out of the water his condition deteriorated rapidly, however, and he passed away after emergency services spent more than an hour attempting to revive him.

Cause of death will be determined by an autopsy, but it appears that he suffered a heart attack.

Some onlookers said that the ambulance took too long to arrive, while others criticised the low number of red flags present on the beach, with the nearest some 300 metres away from where the episode took place.

This is the second such incident in as many weeks on Malaga’s beaches, where 12 people have now died this summer, with over 500 rescues having taken place.

The provincial council must now consider whether to introduce a system of fines for foolhardy bathers, while an improved information and warning system for foreign beachgoers must also be on the agenda.

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