British father dies trying to save daughters from drowning

A 45-year-old British man died at the unsupervised beach of Calada, near Mafra, today after trying to help his two young daughters from being swept out to sea.

Surfers paddled to the rescue – and by chance there was a trained nurse among beachgoers who performed CPR for 50 minutes – “but it was not possible to save (the man’s) life”, writes Correio da Manhã.

His two children, aged 9 and 12 – said to be suffering light injuries – were transported by ambulance to Lisbon’s Hospital de Santa Maria in the company of their mother.

Cascais ports captain Paulo Agostinho confirmed the death. The dead man was initially described as “born in Dubai, with a British passport”. Correio da Manhã has since named him as Trevor Pelling, a financial consultant working in Dubai.

Commander Agostinho has stressed that swimmers should avoid unsupervised beaches.

Praia da Calada will have lifeguard cover this summer, but only from June 12.

Warned the ports captain: “Drowning kills in seconds, and unsupervised beaches have no life-saving means in place”. For instance, Calada “doesn’t even have GSM (cellphone cover) which meant we had to use radios…”

Two INEM emergency reanimation vehicles, and Mafra and Ericeira firefighters supported by seven vehicles attended the scene.

Psychological support was given to Mr Pelling’s family and to one of the surfers involved in the rescue.

The accident was called in at 14.23.

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