By INÊS LOPES [email protected]
A German tourist who had disappeared after going for a swim in Monte Clérigo beach in Aljezur on Monday was found dead the next day by search and rescue teams.
After the man’s wife alerted the authorities of his disappearance at sea on Monday at around 8pm, teams from the Maritime Police, Aljezur voluntary firefighters and the Air Force, supported by a helicopter, began search operations on land and at sea.
The search, suspended at 11pm due to visibility problems, resumed the next day at around 7am, when the body of the man, aged 56, was found at 7.30pm in the nearby area.
Commandant Cruz Martins, Captain of the port of Lagos, told Lusa news agency: “It is believed the victim encountered difficulties while swimming in the sea.”
According to Correio da Manhã newspaper, a group of surfers at the beach attempted to rescue the German citizen but lost sight of him.
The National Authority for Civil Protection said 13 men and four vehicles were involved in the search operations.
Commandant Cruz Martins recommends that bathers are particularly careful when swimming from unsupervised beaches.
Monte Clérigo beach is a Blue Flag beach, supervised by lifeguards, but at the time the incident occurred, at 8pm, they had already finished their shift.
Since the beginning of the month, at least three people have lost their lives due to drowning. Last Saturday, a 12-year-old boy died in Rio Ave in the north of Portugal, while on Sunday, another teenager, a boy aged 14, drowned in Rio Douro, also in the north.
Last month and in the space of a week, two women are believed to have died in separate drowning incidents in the Algarve.
On June 28, the body of a woman, 30, whose nationality has not been released, was found floating in the Arade River in Portimão. Three days earlier a 60-year-old Portuguese woman was found dead in the waters of the Ria Formosa in Faro.
Although there is no evidence pointing to criminal activity as neither victim showed signs of violence, the Polícia Judiciária is investigating the cases.
According to data released on June 30 by the National Sea Rescue Institute (Instituto de Socorros a Náufragos – ISN) , since the start of the bathing season another beach death had occurred – a teenage boy, aged 17, drowned in the Santo Amaro de Oeiras beach in Lisbon.
In total, 175 sea rescue operations have been carried out at supervised beaches and 65 in unsupervised beaches, but integrated in the ISN bather assistance plans.
Several foreign holidaymakers died in beach related incidents last year in the region as reported by the Algarve Resident. A Dutch tourist, aged 64, drowned after swimming off Praia D. Ana in Lagos on October 16 and four days earlier, a 55-year old German tourist had lost his life in the waters of Praia da Bordeira in Vila do Bispo. In August, emergency services were unable to resuscitate a 16-year old British girl after she fell unconscious while wading out to an inflatable ride on Carvoeiro beach. A coroner in the UK recorded a verdict of natural causes at the inquest into the death of the teenager.
British holidaymaker dies after cliff fall
A British man on holiday in the Algarve was found dead on a beach in Albufeira, believed by authorities to have died after falling from a 30-metre high cliff near the Pau da Bandeira viewpoint.
Eye witnesses told Correio da Manhã newspaper that the holidaymaker, aged 48, was playing ‘hide and seek’ with his wife in the early hours of last Saturday when he suddenly disappeared after heading in the direction of the viewpoint.
According to the same newspaper, the wife is said to have returned to the hotel believing her husband would join her later.
It appears locals decided to investigate further and found the man lying dead on the sand at the cliff base.
The Maritime Police, who was called to the scene, believes the man jumped over the protection barriers on the clifftop to hide from his wife and slipped.
Commandant Cruz Martins said: “There is no evidence pointing to a crime. We are unsure of what has led to this death.”