Holidaymaker in intensive care after freak wave

Jim is expected to come home to Scotland next week. Picture: compJim is expected to come home to Scotland next week. Picture: comp
Jim is expected to come home to Scotland next week. Picture: comp
A HOLIDAYMAKER who ­travelled to Tenerife for a music festival is recovering in intensive care after being hurt by a “freak wave”.

Jim Ferguson, 59, had flown to the Spanish island for an annual Northern Soul festival but was left without feeling in the left-hand side of his body in beach accident.

The Portobello resident had been swimming off Troya Beach, on the popular resort of Playa de las Americas, when he was scooped up by the wave and dumped on the seabed.

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Mr Ferguson was left temporarily paralysed and had to be dragged to shore.

He said: “I had just decided to call it a day, when I turned round to be faced with a huge wave. The sea had been higher than normal but this is a beach I’m familiar with and is probably the safest in Los Americas.

“I tried to outswim the wave but it lifted me up and I landed head first on the sea bed.”

The dad-of-three said he realised he suffered a severe injury his neck after feeling a “sharp pain” during impact.

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He said: “The waves carried me to the shore and I got a real shock to discover I couldn’t move any part of the left-hand side of my body.

“English tourists saw my distress and carried me from the sea. As I lay there I was conscious of movement ­beginning to return. Lifeguards were quickly on the scene and checked me out. They suggested I go to hospital.”

Mr Ferguson had been attending the Northern Soul event with close friend Pat Waugh, from Leith.

The 48-year-old said Mr ­Ferguson’s condition was improving and he is expected to make a full recovery. She said: “When I saw Jim it was a shock because he had a gash on his head and looked disorientated. We managed to get him changed into dry clothes.

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“The lifeguards were very efficient in treating Jim and he was in an ambulance within minutes.

“The good news is he is making good progress and should not suffer any permanent damage.”

Doctors have diagnosed bruising and a misplaced bone but it is thought Mr Ferguson, who works as a sub-editor at The Scotsman newspaper, will leave the intensive care unit within days and is expected to return to Scotland next week.

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