Benalmádena's fire chief presents the lifeguards who took part in the rescue with a letter of recognition from the town's mayor. SUR
Race against the clock to save British man's life on Benalmádena beach
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Race against the clock to save British man's life on Benalmádena beach

Four lifeguards have received official recognition after they helped rescue the 72-year-old who lost consciousness while swimming 20 metres from shore

Lorena Cádiz


Friday, 29 September 2023


Adrián, Félix, Federico and Rodrigo. None of these four lifeguards will forget the date of 12 September 2023 and they will always remember that they saved a life that day, that of Kenneth, a 72-year-old British man, who was swimming at Santa Ana beach when he lost consciousness twenty metres from the shore.

No one on the beach noticed the incident except the lifeguard on the T3 watchtower, near the Las Gaviotas restaurant. It was this person who alerted his closest colleague on the shore, who didn't hesitate to leap into the water. When the rescuer reached the man, he realised the seriousness of the victim's condition and raised the alarm to activate the most serious protocol used by the lifeguards in their work. This meant starting a race against time to try to save the victim's life.

The incident report showed a coordinated emergency care response for cardiorespiratory arrest in which other rescuers were involved in supporting their colleagues, all in less than three minutes, to get the man safely to the shore.

The first private ambulance arrived at the beach in under ten minutes equipped with a defibrillator. Minutes later, two life support ambulances from the 061 health service arrived and one rushed the victim to the Hospital Virgen de la Victoria, where he was stabilised.

Following the incident, the Mayor of Benalmádena, Juan Antonio Lara, sent a personal letter to the four lifeguards who led the emergency response from the beginning, and who set in motion the coordinated activation of the protocol and who, while waiting for the ambulance and defibrillator arrived, applied cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The councillor stressed to Adrián, Félix, Federico and Rodrigo his "profound gratitude for the excellent and heroic" work carried out to save Kenneth's life.

In the letter, the mayor highlighted the excellence of the response, the dedication of these professionals who during the summer season provide surveillance, rescue and first aid services for hundreds of thousands of visitors and the importance of training. "Their professionalism and knowledge made a significant difference in such a critical situation and also demonstrated their dedication to the safety and well-being of the public and visitors who enjoy our beaches," the letter stated.

The letter was delivered personally by the head of the Benalmádena fire prevention, fire fighting, rescue and civil protection service - SEPEIS, David Bañasco, who also thanked and congratulated five other lifeguards, technicians and health workers from the Socorrismo Málaga company, who were involved in resolving the incident.

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