Divers still searching for American tourist who jumped from Douro bridge

A 34-year-old American tourist is still missing today after jumping from a bridge over the Douro river

Harbourmaster Carlos Campos has said there is little hope of finding the man alive.

He was apparently watching youngsters jump from Ponte Luís I, in Ribeira, Porto, late yesterday afternoon when he decided to try the experience out himself.

Says Jornal de Notícias, he was seen floating for about 10 minutes afterwards, and then “for reasons unknown”, started to have difficulties and disappeared under the water.

The episode was witnessed by the man’s girlfriend, who is receiving counselling.

For now, Carlos Campos has said he is not at liberty to release the missing man’s identity.

Searches remain ongoing, involving Maritime Police, the Douro lifeboat service and Porto sappers.

JN’s story has received a number of comments alluding to the young locals who frequently jump from the bridge and “know the waters” – occasionally saving the lives of those who don’t.

Jumps from the bridge into the river 50 ft below have been uploaded onto Youtube (click here), while legendary filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira immortalised the tradition in his 1942 film Aniki Bóbó. More recently Spanish filmmaker Javier Macipe made a short movie on the culture, entitled Meninos do Rio.

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