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19 December, 2018
 
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Xylofagou boat accident still under investigation

Greek forensic pathologist to carry out autopsy on body of 60-year-old Niki Christofidi

Newsroom

Authorities are still investigating a boat incident on Wednesday where a 60-year-old woman died after a motorboat capsized off the Xylofagou coast in the Red Cliff area.

The victim, Niki Christofidi from Lythrodontas, had joined her husband, her son, and another couple in a motorboat outing on Wednesday around noon.

The boat, with Christofidi’s 38-year-old son at the rudder, departed from Ormidia and reached Cape Greco before turning back towards the Dhekelia British Base area.

It was not immediately clear what caused the boat to capsize, with some reports saying it was taking on water while other accounts suggested the son lost control due to strong winds

On the way back, the boat capsized under circumstances that are still under investigation, with all five souls on board reportedly falling into the water.

An eye witness reportedly saw the motorboat in trouble and notified authorities, with Larnaca Coast Guard receiving an emergency call at 2:30pm according to Dhekelia Deputy Police Chief Andreas Pitsillides.

“Motorboat near Red Cliff area of Xylofagou, within boundaries of Dhekelia British Base, in emergency due to rough sea,” said the dispatcher.

Rescuers rushed to the scene and located the boat, with a helicopter managing to pick up the couple, who were family relatives and transported them to Larnaca General Hospital. They were reportedly out of danger but remained at the hospital for medical tests.

Father and son managed to swim to shore, where they were met by SBA police officers who had arrived in the area.

But the 60-year-old woman had not been seen during the rescue operation, with her body later washing up on shore near some rocks. A medical doctor at the Base, who arrived with an ambulance, pronounced the woman dead around 4pm.

It was not immediately clear what caused the boat to capsize, with some reports saying it was taking on water while other accounts suggested the son lost control due to strong winds.

The victim’s son reportedly told police he was at the rudder during rough seas and strong winds, which resulted in the boat taking on water. In his attempt to stabilize the boat, he lost control and it capsized.

They jumped off to save their lives

Pitsillides told Knews the incident is still under investigation and more details were not available. But he confirmed that the boat was sinking and the five people on board were forced to jump into the water. 

An autopsy was scheduled for Thursday morning, according to local reports.

Greek forensic pathologist Manolis Sakeliades, a colleague of Chara Speliopoulou who has worked with the SBA in the past, will perform the autopsy.

Officials also said they might make an attempt to pull the sunk boat out fort tests, but it will depend on weather conditions.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  Xylofagou  |  accident  |  boat  |  Red Cliff  |  SBA  |  Dhekelia  |  motorboat  |  capsize

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