A 19-year-old university student sick with “alcohol poisoning and foaming from her mouth” was taken to Faro Hospital last night (September 23) following a student “ritual” that went badly wrong. She is reported to be “recovering well”.
The ritual, known colloquially as a ‘praxe’, involved burying new students in sand at Faro beach, relatively near the water, while pouring alcoholic drinks into their mouths.
There are said to have been around 50 university students involved.
But it all proved too much for Ana Eloísa, a student of Biology at the University of the Algarve, who suffered alcohol poisoning and passed out.
“Her grandmother was walking by and saw 20 youngsters buried in the sand, unable to move their arms. Shortly after, she saw an ambulance arrived and noticed it was Ana that was being dug out of the sand. She was foaming from her mouth and had passed out,” the girl’s uncle Mário Galego told Jornal de Notícias.
The young woman was taken to Faro Hospital, where she is described as “recovering well”.
“She is under observation, but out of danger,” a hospital source told us.
University rector António Branco has said the situation will not go unpunished.
“I have decided to start enquiries into who can be held responsible for this regrettable occurrence,” the head of UAlg said in a statement.
“There will be no tolerance for any initiatives to welcome new students, both on the UAlg campus and outside of it, that go against the physical and moral rights, liberty and security of students”.
While this “praxe” ended with no serious consequences, it recalls the Meco tragedy, held at Meco beach in Sesimbra where six students died after being swept to their deaths by a wave (click here).