Former president saved from drowning in Algarve

Former President of Portugal Jorge Sampaio was saved from drowning after he got into difficulties swimming off the beach in Praia da Luz, where he was spending his holidays.

Sampaio, aged 73, was overwhelmed by a sudden strong wave and sensed he was in danger as the sea current swelled.

Fortunately, his cries for help were heard and Portuguese beachgoer José Lacerda and his wife Dulce, from Vila Nova de Gaia in northern Portugal, were able to push him into safer waters with the aid of other people.

Visibly shaken by the incident, Sampaio left the beach minutes later with his family and security officers. The rescue took place last Saturday.

Lacerda told Correio da Manhã newspaper: “He was in danger. He had been hit by one wave and there were more coming when we managed to push him towards the beach. He was clearly weakened and exhausted by the experience.”