British tourists in bizarre ‘drowning’ drama

A tale of worry and despair ended on a happy if somewhat bizarre note after two British tourists were believed to have drowned but suddenly arrived by taxi at a river beach in Santa Comba Dão, where they reportedly went missing.

The unusual incident began when the two men, one of whom is a life-guard, decided to go for a swim at the Nossa Senhora da Ribeira beach. They swam to the other margin of the beach but felt tired and decided to return on foot.

Their girlfriends, however, were unaware of this plan and panicked when they could not find their partners, aged 20 and 34, in the water. Thinking they had drowned, the two women contacted the authorities.

The local fire department deployed one boat, two ambulances, one medical emergency vehicle and a helicopter to the scene, and a member of the Santa Comba Dão firemen said they had already scanned the whole length of the margins in their searches.

When hopes that the two men were alive began to fade, they arrived at the beach by taxi, safe and sound, and asked what all the fuss was about.