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15 July, 2024
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Police recover sunk boat in Xylofagou fatal accident

Investigators try to piece together what caused a boat during a family outing to capsize


The sunken powerboat in Xylofagou has been recovered as authorities try to piece together what caused an accident where a 60-year-old woman died during a family outing.

On Friday morning police from the British Base at Dhekelia managed to recover the boat that sank Wednesday, resulting in the death of Niki Christofidi, aged 60 from Lythrodontas.

Her husband, aged 70, and her 30-year-old son, along with another couple, survived the accident.

The circumstances of the accident are still under investigation, according to Dhekelia Deputy Police Chief Andreas Pitsillides, who said the powerboat departed from Ormidia and reached Cape Greco before turning back towards the Dhekelia British Base area.

Pitsillides told Knews the boat was properly registered and licenced to the 30-year-old man who was at the rudder

Christofidi’s son was at the rudder, according to reports, when the boat capsized near the area's Red Cliff under circumstances that are still under investigation.

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.

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

Rescuers who rushed to the scene had located the boat, with a helicopter managing to pick up the couple, who were family relatives and transported them to Larnaca General Hospital.

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

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 the ambulance, pronounced the woman dead around 4pm.

Greek forensic pathologist Manolis Sakeliades determined that Christofidi suffered a respiratory impairment caused by drowning.

Media reports earlier said the powerboat had been a rental, but Pitsillides told Knews the boat was actually properly registered and licenced to the 30-year-old man.

The deputy chief also said officials were looking into offering a refresher course as a quick-action guide on marine safety.

Cyprus  |  Xylofagou  |  police  |  accident  |  boat  |  sea  |  Christofidi

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