Accidents Tourism Tragedy

British woman, 69, drowned while snorkelling on holiday in the Maldives after being swept away by strong currents

A BRITISH woman has drowned while snorkelling in the Maldives after being swept away by strong currents.

The 69-year-old, who has not been named, was on holiday while the catastrophic current took her away off the tropical island of Kuredu.

 The woman had been staying at Kuredu Island Resort and Spa

The woman had been staying at Kuredu Island Resort and SpaCredit: Michael-John Jennings

Chief Inspector Izmia Zahir, of the Maldives Police Service, said: “We received reports of a female tourist from the United Kingdom drowning.

“Police attended the hospital and found that the woman was a 69-year-old British woman who had been staying at Kuredu Island Resort and Spa.

“According to the resort, the incident took place while she was snorkelling.”


It is the sixth life strong currents in the Maldives have claimed this year, as swimmers are strongly warned to beware of the currents.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “We are supporting the family of a British woman following her death in the Maldives.

“We keep our travel advice under constant review and make regular updates, to give British people the information they need to stay safe when travelling abroad.”

How to spot and avoid a deadly riptide

Even if the water is only up to your waist, and definitely if it’s up to your chest, a riptide can seize you and carry you out to sea.

Surviving a rip current has very little to do with strength – they can even kill strong, professional swimmers.

Trying to resist the current doesn’t work and many people panic when they realise this, making the whole situation A LOT worse.

Riptides are especially dangerous when they come into shallow waters – because barriers such a piles of sands and shoals of fish block the mass from returning to the open sea.

They tend to be narrow – measuring around two to three metres and moving at a speed of four to five kilometres an hour.

However, rip tides can grow to the dangerous size of 50 by 400 metres, and achieve speeds of 15km an hour.

Look out for:

  • A channel of fast-flowing water moving at an angle towards the shore.
  • The water around the beach is a different colour (a white area, surrounded by green or light blue water).
  • An area made up of foam, marine plants and bubbles flowing towards the sea.
  • A 5-10 metre gap in an area of flowing waves.
  • Sadly, however, 80 per cent of rip tides CAN’T be identified by sight.

How can you keep yourself safe?

  • Don’t stray from the others – keep near to groups of people, even if swimming alone.
  • Pay attention to red flags and any warning signs along the beach.
  • Don’t panic – you need to be thinking rationally.
  • Don’t struggle – you need to save your strength.
  • Don’t swim towards the shore – swim parallel to it. If the rip current is narrow, you’ll be able to escape it quickly using this method.
  • If it’s wider than 20 metres, STAY STILL – the reverse flow should stop within five minutes.
  • Then swim parallel to the shore for 50-100 metres, before swimming towards the beach.
  • It’s important to still swim parallel out of the danger zone because otherwise if the flow starts again in the same place, you will be caught up in it.

Keep calm and remember:

  • The rip current will not drag you down to the sea bed, it’s not a whirlpool.
  • The width of the current is always limited, and you’ll realise when you’ve swam safely out of the danger zone.

Earlier this year, Maldives tourists have been advised to take “extra caution” by police when swimming following the deaths of five holidaymakers in two weeks.

Tourism officials conducted investigations into the safety of tourist facilities and hotels following the incidents in January.

According to the Maldives Times, police have issued the warning because “currents are strong during the north-eastern monsoon”.

Earlier that month, Filipino newlyweds Leomar Lagradilla, 30, and Erika Joyce, 29, were on their honeymoon when they died while snorkelling.

An 84-year-old man from the Czech Republic and a 66-year old South Korean tourist both drowned, followed by the death of a 40-year-old Russian woman during a diving trip on Sunday.

Anyone caught in a rip current should avoid fighting it and swim parallel to the shore for at least 50 metres before swimming back to the beach.

Full details are available at the link below:


Source URL: Bing News :

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