‘Fake firefighter’ arrested during agonising searches for young men swallowed by sea in Espinho

Almost a week since Ricardo Costa and Daniel Pereira was ‘swallowed’ by a huge wave in Espinho, a bizarre young woman who turned up claiming to be Costa’s girlfriend as well as a firefighter has been arrested.

Mariana Carvalho presented herself to search parties looking for the missing young men as a volunteer firefighter attached to Valadares station, say reports.

She had all the right kit, just no official identification.

She apparently said she couldn’t remember where she’d left it.

Carvalho ended up receiving psychological support before it became clear that no one in Costa’s family, nor any of his friends, had ever heard of her.

It then transpired that the woman has been masquerading as a Valadares firefighter for the last few months.

Miguel Pimentel told reporters that the corporation will be presenting a formal complaint to Valadares PSP.

It is a sad and puzzling side-story to the ongoing drama in Espinho in which relatives of the missing young men are simply seeking closure in the form of the bodies of their loved ones, so that they can be properly buried.

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