Two Indian-origin doctors drown off Spain coast

The rescued woman was treated for water in her lungs.

London | Published: April 8, 2014 12:03:23 pm

An Indian-origin British doctor and one of her relatives drowned while trying to rescue two children off the Tenerife coast in Spain.

Obstetrician Dr Uma Ramalingam, 42, and her relative Dr Barathi Ravikumar, 39, a General Practitioner, were dragged into the sea by a wave on Sunday evening at Playa Paraiso resort, situated at island’s south-west, police said.

The two children, aged 14 and 10, were pulled out and though one was suffering from hypothermia, they survived, as did a 38-year-old woman, who was similarly rescued.

They all belonged to the same holiday group who were sharing a seaside apartment.

“At just after 6 pm on Sunday we received several calls alerting us to two people who were in difficulties in the sea and needed help to get out of the water. Witnesses rescued two women and two children from the sea,” a spokeswoman for emergency services on the Canary Islands said.

The 10-year-old was subsequently taken to hospital with low blood sugar and hypothermia, while the 14-year-old was treated for minor bruising at the scene.

The rescued woman was treated for water in her lungs.

Dr Ramalingam was a consultant obstetrician who worked across several hospitals in the Pennine Acute Hospital trust catchment area – including Royal Oldham Hospital, Fairfield General Hospital in Bury and North Manchester General Hospital.

“We are greatly saddened to hear the death of Uma, who had been working for the trust for about six years. She was a fantastic doctor who brought a lot of hope to the high-risk women attending the women and children’s unit at the Royal Oldham Hospital,” said Olubusola Amu, consultant and clinical director of Women and Children Services at the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.

Ravikumar was a partner at the Heath Surgery, in Bracebridge Heath, Lincoln.

A statement on the surgery’s website said: “It is with regret that we have to inform you that Dr Barathi Ravikumar, a partner at the Heath Surgery, Bracebridge Heath, Lincoln, has been fatally injured in an accident while on holiday with her family.”

A spokesman for the local emergency services said a rescue helicopter had been mobilised along with two ambulances, coastguards and firefighters.

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