Two women drown off Tenerife while trying to save children

Police say British women were dragged out to sea by a large wave

A consultant obstetrician is one of two women who drowned off the coast of Tenerife after reportedly getting into difficulty as they attempted to rescue their two children swept out by a wave. Video: Reuters

Mon, Apr 7, 2014, 16:18

A consultant obstetrician is one of two women who drowned off the coast of Tenerife after reportedly getting into difficulty as they attempted to rescue their two children swept out by a wave.

Uma Ramalingam (42) is thought to have been on holiday with her relative, Barathi Ruvikumar, who also died in the incident.

The women were pronounced dead after the tragic incident off the coast of Playa Paraiso on the Canary Island yesterday.

It was widely reported that a third woman, aged 38, survived along with the two children, after being pulled out of the water by rescuers.

A former colleague of Mrs Ramalingam, from Altrincham, Cheshire, who worked at the Royal Oldham Hospital’s women and children’s unit, paid tribute to the “fantastic doctor”.

Olubusola Amu, consultant and clinical director of Women and Children Services at the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We are greatly saddened to hear the death of Uma, who had been working for the trust for about six years.

“She was a fantastic doctor who brought a lot of hope to the high-risk women attending the women and children’s unit at the Royal Oldham Hospital.

“This is a terrible shock to everyone who knew Uma. Our thoughts are with her family at this sad time. She will be sorely missed.”

A Guardia Civil spokeswoman said: “It appears that the two women were dragged into the sea by a wave yesterday at around 6pm in Playa Paraiso, Adeje.

“We can confirm that both were British and both were relatives, although we are not certain how they were related at the moment.”

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: ‘We can confirm the deaths of two British nationals in Tenerife on April 6th.

“We are in touch with the authorities and are providing consular assistance with the families.”

A spokeswoman for emergency services on the Canary Islands said: “At just after 6pm yesterday afternoon we received several calls alerting us to two people who were in difficulties in the sea and needed help to get out of the water.

“Witnesses rescued two women and two children from the sea. “An emergency helicopter located a fifth person in the sea, a woman, and one of the respondents dangled out of the craft and pulled her out.

“After realising that she was in cardiac arrest, respondents gave her basic CPR while they took her to land so she could be attended by healthcare personnel. “Staff from the Canaries health service, a doctor from a nearby health centre and another doctor who was at the scene found that two women were in cardiac arrest and tried to give them advanced CPR without success.

“They later certified the death of both women. They also helped stabilise the other people, taking a woman and a child to hospital.” The spokeswoman said that the woman taken to hospital was 38, while the child was 10. Neither are thought to be Spanish nationals.

The woman was treated for water in her lungs and is not believed to be in a critical condition, while the child had low blood sugar and hypothermia. Both are being treated in hospital.

Both local police and fire brigade assisted in the emergency operation and the Guardia Civil is now investigating the incident, the spokeswoman said.

PA