Fishermen’s cliff-fall deaths double in Algarve

The number of deaths of anglers falling from high cliffs, especially in the Vincentina Coast region of the west Algarve, more than doubled last year compared to the previous 12 months.

And the tragedies might have been avoided if the men had been wearing life-jackets to keep them afloat, according to official maritime sources.

The use of jackets is compulsory for fishing at night but optional during daylight.

Five pleasure anglers drowned or died from injuries during 2012 after falling into the sea and three others were badly injured but survived.

The previous year two deaths and three cases of injury were recorded after the anglers lost their footing and fell from heights of sometimes more than a dozen metres.

The most recent fatality was a 50-year-old Ukrainian man, resident in Lagos, who was hit by a six-metre high wave and flung into the sea on December 16. His body was recovered on Monday after being spotted by a ship’s crew off the Sagres coast (see back page for story).

Another fishermen, aged 29, died in November in a cliff-fall in the area of Torre in Lagoa, and in the same month a fisherman also met his death at Torre d’Aspa, Vila do Bispo.

Another fell to his death near the Rádio Naval area in Sagres last July and in January 2012 a 51-year-old fisherman also lost his life in similar circumstances in Sagres.