Children die in river tragedy on “Black Sunday” of fatal accidents

A brother and sister died on Sunday after getting into difficulties in the Vouga river, where they were playing with a cousin.

Early reports suggest the children were enjoying a family day out at Macinhata do Vouga, in Águeda, on what appears to have been the hottest day so far this year when the 11-year-old boy got out of his depth and started being taken by the current.

His 14-year-old sister rushed to help him, but both children were swept further out.

The sister was recovered from the water alive, but “ended up dying in hospital”, while the body of her brother was recovered a few hours later.

Eye-witnesses talked about “the force of the current” in a popular spot that has no form of lifeguard cover.

The alert was raised just after 2.30pm, bringing 43 firefighters in 16 vehicles from Águeda and Albergaria-a-Velha to the scene.

Elsewhere, a little later in the afternoon, two 20-year-olds were reported missing from a beach in Espinho after going into the waves to retrieve a ball.

According to Público, the young men were ‘locals’ from Santa Maria da Feira.

There is no mention of whether or not the beach had lifeguard cover, though Jornal de Notícias suggests that lifeguards in the area are not expected to start work for the season before June 15.

Searches were suspended overnight, and will resume at 8am this morning.

In the Algarve, a 64-year-old Spanish man also got into difficulties 50 metres out to sea from Monte Gordo beach, but thanks to the swift response from lifeguards he was brought to shore and resuscitated.

But further misery was registered on the country’s roads where five people lost their lives in accidents in Ponte de Lima, Porto and Cascais.

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