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Eight deaths at beaches so far this year

Eight people have died at beaches in the region so far this year, with the majority of these deaths found to be foreigners over the age of 50.

According to maritime authorities in the Algarve, the most common cause of death was sudden illness while swimming and drowning, with most of the deaths occurring on unsupervised beaches.

Marques Ferreira from the Southern Maritime Authority told Lusa news agency that the only person to have died at a supervised beach this year was a 59-year old Scottish man, who died from a sudden illness while wading in the sea in Armação de Pêra on June 1 (see the Algarve Resident edition June 9).

The majority of the deaths occurred before the official start of the bathing season, except the death of a 62-year old British woman who died from a sudden illness while at Cacela Velha beach in Vila Real de Santo António on June 19, although this was also an unsupervised beach.

Other cases include the death of a 62-year-old British woman on March 31 at a beach in Odeceixe while on May 12 the maritime police recovered a body south of Sagres “in an advanced state of decomposition” according to Marques Ferreira.

Sudden illness

There were two further deaths recorded on May 23, with the victims being a German citizen aged 79 and a Dutch citizen aged 53 (see the Algarve Resident edition May 27) while on February 3 the body of a 61-year old man was found floating along the Guadiana River and was later identified as a crew member from a fishing boat.

Finally, a Polish woman aged 25 died on an unsupervised beach on March 6 on the Ria Formosa in Vila Real de Santo António, with her death also being attributed to sudden illness.

During 2010, there were six deaths at beaches recorded during the bathing season, with four as a result of falling from cliffs and two occurring on unsupervised beaches.

According to the Maritime Police, there were no deaths at supervised beaches during the official bathing season of 2010.

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