80-year-old missing tourist found in the south of Tenerife with extreme hypothermia

  • CECOES .
  • 02-01-2024
  • Tenerife
  • Photo Credit: Bomberos Tfe
80-year-old missing tourist found in the south of Tenerife with extreme hypothermia

The Local Police of Arona have reported that they received an alert from the Emergency Services Coordination Centre (CECOES) on December 28th for the disappearance of an 80-year-old holidaymaker on the Punta La Rasca trail, located between Palm Mar and Las Galletas in the south of Tenerife.

The alert came after a call to 112 by hotel staff where the man was staying, who were alarmed by his wife's report saying that she had gone out walking with him, lost sight of him, and was surprised by how quickly it got dark while trying to find him.

Upon receiving the information, a search operation for the missing man was organised, consisting of two officers from the Prevention Police Unit (UPP) and a sub-inspector from the Local Police of Arona who covered the trail on foot.

Given the difficulty of a search in the darkness, collaboration was requested from the Coastal Surveillance Service of the Guardia Civil, equipped with infrared cameras that allow locating people through body heat from a great distance in the dark.

These cameras led to the discovery of a heat signal of a person in the coastal area about two kilometres between the outskirts of Palm Mar and the lighthouse. The Guardia Civil provided the coordinates of the sighting and guided the Arona Local Police agents to the rocky area via direct phone communication.

The elderly man was suffering from hypothermia and dehydration

At around 11:30pm, after a challenging journey due to the difficulty of the terrain, the agents found a person, alive, who was not moving because his legs were trapped between the rocks. They verified it was the missing tourist showing clear signs of hypothermia and dehydration.

Once the man was located, one of the officers accompanied the healthcare professionals to the site, along with a team of firefighters carrying an oxygen tank and the necessary medical equipment to stabilise him at the location, before carrying him on a stretcher to a safer location where an ambulance was waiting to take him to hospital.