By 2018-10-11 InAlgarve

Helicopter airlifts stranded walker from Aljezur beach

A simple walk on a west coast beach turned into a nightmare for a 52-year-old Portuguese man who “doesn’t know how to swim” yesterday.

The tide came in as he was enjoying himself clambering over rocks on Aljezur’s Vale dos Homens beach, and within minutes he was stranded.

Due to the force of the waves, it wasn’t possible for rescuers to swim out to get him so “a complex recovery operation was launched” involving life boat recovery crew, land based response and an Air Force helicopter.

Aljezur firefighter Hélio Oliveira, 25, quickly became the hero of the hour, by swimming to the rock with a life vest, and ensuring the man was protected.

Oliveira stayed with the victim until he was eventually winched to safety – which took over two and a half hours.

During that time, waves repeatedly drenched both men as the tide rose.

Said reports, by the time the mission was successfully completed, the Portuguese man was “showing signs of hypothermia” and transported to Portimão Hospital.

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