Hundreds of people, many of them fellow university students dressed in their traditional flowing black gowns, thronged the streets of Loulé last Saturday to bid a final goodbye to 21-year-old Andreia Revéz – one of six young people swept to their deaths by a freak wave on Meco beach, near Sesimbra, 10 days before Christmas.
The town’s church proved too small to fit everyone, as local rugby players and many other well-wishers joined the black-clad mourners.
Correio da Manhã put numbers at “around 500” and reported that Andreia had been “a polite, down-to-earth, good student and an exemplary athlete”.
The biotech student used to play for Loulé Rugby Club and had even been signed up by Benfica before she moved to Lisbon to study at the Universidade Lusófona, said the newspaper.
Her death was a devastating blow to her family, who had recently lost her father in a motorbike accident – and the many days’ delay before her body was recovered from the sea added to relatives’ pain.
Andreia lived with her grandparents in Cerro Guerreiro, near Loulé.
Body believed to be of Meco student brought to shore
Early Thursday morning last week, what is thought to be the final body from the Meco tragedy was found on a beach in Almada and taken straight to the local Hospital Garcia de Orta for identification.
The family of missing student Pedro Negrão was immediately informed, as this is the last student swept into the sea by a freak wave on December 15 who remains unaccounted for.
Like all the bodies washed up on beaches over last weekend and Monday, this one was unrecognisable and had to be identified through the use of DNA.
Jorge Costa Santos of the Institute of Legal Medicine explained that normally this would take his department over two weeks – but in this case, everyone was working double-time, using the help of family members to narrow down possibilities.
“We asked relatives for a list of things like piercings, tattoos, anatomical alterations, that would allow us to identify the bodies,” he told Público newspaper.
Nonetheless, the parents of 24-year-old Pedro Tito Negrão have been told they can go ahead with a funeral if they prefer, as all the signs are that the body is that of their son.