As the country clocks off for its annual summer holiday – with hundreds of thousands of cars heading south and many others heading in all other directions – police have issued figures for what they dub their third phase of the holiday road-safety campaign, Operation Hermes.
This time round, four people have been reported killed on the country’s roads, “the same number as during the same period last year”, while 631 accidents were reported between last Friday and Sunday night (the height of the travel exodus). This is 60 accident less than this time last year.
Serious injuries (13) were also down by six on last year’s figures, while minor injuries were up by three.
So far there have been no ‘conclusions’ on the data, particularly as Hermes still has two significant weekends left to run: August 12-15 (when the major holiday change-over takes place) and August 26-28 (when thousands make their return journeys home).
Seven deaths so far in 2016 bathing season
Meantime, there have been seven deaths so far during Portugal’s so called ‘bathing season’ (época balnear).
The majority (6) were caused by drowning, while one of the incidents was a ‘sudden death’.
The figures released today for the period May 1 to July 31 show that three of the deaths took place in unsupervised beaches (stretches of the coast without lifeguards), and two in unsupervised river areas.
The 6th death was recorded at a supervised river beach in the Douro region.
The interim report from the national maritime authority reveals that lifeguards have dealt with over 500 incidents so far this year, 207 in areas manned by concessions and 351 on beaches covered by local authorities and other entities, while 485 people have received First Aid and 18 lost children have been “successfully recovered”.