Two Sri Lankan workers drowned off the coast of Dhekelia in Cyprus at the weekend, police said yesterday.
The men, whose names have not yet been released pending their families’ notification, drowned on Sunday night when they became separated from their friends.
Preliminary investigations indicate the pair, who had worked at the Nicosia racecourse and were aged 21 and 26, had not known how to swim.
The incident is being investigated by SBA Dhekelia police under whose jurisdiction the area lies.
Chief Inspector of Dhekelia police Lefteris Eleftheriou said they had been notified about two missing men at around 10.35pm. He said five Sri Lankan men had gone to swim near the Savopoulou restaurant area in Dhekelia at around 7.30pm.
“Around 15 minutes later three of the five noticed that two of their party were missing,” he said.
Eleftheriou said the three started to search for their friends but could not find them. In fact two of three were siblings and the younger of the two missing men was their brother. SBA police were notified about the duo’s disappearance a few hours later. He said SBA police as well as marine police immediately searched the coast. Three divers were also employed to comb the area. Just after midnight the two Sri Lankans’ lifeless bodies were found 80 meters from the shore at a depth of two metres.
Eleftheriou said the victims had been transported to the morgue at Akrotiri where an autopsy would confirm their cause of death.
“So far our investigations confirm no crime has been committed,” he said.
Meanwhile police spokesman Michalis Katsounotos yesterday urged people who did not know how to swim to refrain from entering the water.
“It’s self-evident,” he said. “People who do not know how to swim should not go into the sea. It’s inconceivable and like death. If you can’t swim, do not try your luck.”
Katsounotos said unfortunately every year there were drowning incidences and that often they involved people who could not swim
“Thankfully there aren’t too many,” he said. “Last year we had one [who could not swim] as well… Normally [the victims] involve non-Cypriots but this is not always the case.”