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Russian man dies at Blue Lagoon

Husband was not a strong swimmer

Bystanders sought to resuscitate the man as a medical team rushed to his assistance. Photo: Daniel Refalo

Bystanders sought to resuscitate the man as a medical team rushed to his assistance. Photo: Daniel Refalo

A 31-year-old Russian man died after struggling to remain afloat at Comino’s Blue Lagoon yesterday despite swimmers’ attempts to resuscitate him.

At first I thought she was the one in trouble

The man, who reportedly lived in Xemxija, was in the water along the Comminotto side of the bay at lunchtime when he found himself in difficulty.

A woman swimming close by immediately called for help.

“I was standing on Comino when I heard this woman shouting. At first I thought she was the one in trouble but then I noticed a man floating face down just behind her,” a witness said.

He drew the attention of bathers and sailors, who immediately sprang into action.

A man in a boat crossed the swimming zone boundary line, pulled the man aboard and tried to resuscitate him, the witness added.

“In the meantime, several people had called the emergency services. The people on the boat then brought the man ashore but it didn’t seem like the CPR was working.”

An Armed Forces of Malta helicopter arrived about 30 minutes later, the witness said. The helicopter first descended on a nearby hill and allowed a medical team to disembark before eventually landing on the quay alongside the man.

The witness described the scene. “It was quite chaotic and the medical team did whatever they could to resuscitate him. After pumping his heart and giving him oxygen, they put him on a stretcher and took off.”

The man was taken to Gozo General Hospital but medics there could do little to help and he was certified dead.

An inquiry into the death is being held.

A woman believed to be the victim’s wife told the witness her husband was not a strong swimmer.

“She kept saying: ‘my husband, my husband’. There was a young boy with her, though I don’t know if they were all related. It’s all very sad and it’s cast a shadow on the week. All of us here are struggling to speak about anything else,” he said.

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