Director of Portugal’s Macrobiotic Institute “missing at sea”

Searches are still ongoing following the disappearance at sea yesterday (Thursday) of Francisco Varatojo, director of Portugal’s Macrobiotic Institute.

Experienced diver Varatojo, 56, was on a deep-sea dive with friends off Cabo Espichel (Sesimbra).

According to one report (in tabloid Correio da Manhã) he was last seen accompanying one of the friend’s who had started to feel ‘ill’ back to the surface.

Observador has a slightly different story, saying his absence was only noticed once the group decided it was time to return to their boat at midday.

“The five friends were diving and all launched a signal buoy that signified the return to the boat. It was then that they realised that Francisco Varatojo, one of the most respected names in Macrobiotics in Portugal and abroad, was missing”.

Air and sea searches continued through last night, and resumed this morning.

Macrobiotics is a form of diet purported to balance the ‘yin and the yang’ associated with Zen Buddhism. It involves locally sourced food, small meals and an holistic lifestyle approach.


Varatojo’s body was discovered on Friday evening by Maritime police divers.

According to reports, it was found at a depth of 18 metres, not far from the place from where he was last seen, an area called Pedra de Arcanzil, between Cabo Espichel and Porto da Baleeira

Leandro Pereira of Megadive diving school said Varatojo’s death was a situation that saddened everyone.

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