UK & World News

  • 8 April 2014, 8:07

'British Mothers Drown Trying To Rescue Kids'

Two British tourists have drowned in the sea off Tenerife after reportedly trying to rescue their children.

The female victims, 42-year-old Uma Ramalingam and her relative Barathi Ravikumar, 39, went to help the youngsters after they were swept away by a wave.

But the women - both doctors - got into difficulties themselves near the resort of Playa Paraiso in the southwest of the island on Sunday.

The youngsters, aged 10 and 14, were rescued by tourists and hotel workers while an emergency services helicopter pulled a third woman, 38, out of the water.

She and the two children survived but the two other women each suffered a cardiac arrest and attempts to revive them were unsuccessful.

A spokeswoman for Canary Islands emergency services said: "At just after 6pm yesterday afternoon we received several calls alerting us to two people who were in difficulties in the sea.

"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.

"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 10-year-old child was reportedly taken to hospital with hypothermia while the 14-year-old was treated for minor bruises at the scene.

The third woman was in cardiac arrest when she was rescued but survived after receiving CPR.

A Guardia Civil spokeswoman confirmed the two women who died were British and relatives of the children, but said it had not been ascertained how they were related. An investigation is now under way.

Dr Ramalingam was a consultant obstetrician at the Royal Oldham Hospital.

Mr Olubusola Amu, from 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."

Dr Ravikumar was a partner at a health surgery in Bracebridge Heath, Lincoln.

The surgery described her as "a hardworking and dedicated GP" who "always worked in the best interests of patients".

A Foreign Office spokeswoman told Sky News: "We are aware the deaths of two British nationals in Tenerife.

"We are in touch with local authorities and are providing consular assistance to the family."