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German tourists die in tour boat accident

By SOPHIE MCCARRICK & INÊS LOPES [email protected]

Two German tourists died in a boating accident in Lagos on Tuesday.

Both female victims, in their 70s, died after tourist boat Sol de Lagos sank due to unknown causes.

The accident occurred at approximately 11.46am off the Praia do Camilo coast, when the 6.4 metre long vessel was said to have “flipped over”.

The boat was on a tour of the caves in the area of Ponta da Piedade and on board were 10 tourist passengers, six men and four women, all of German nationality, and the Portuguese captain of the boat.

Three crew members of a nearby boat threw themselves into the water to try to rescue the victims, aged between 56 and 83.

The Maritime Police were immediately alerted of the accident and a rescue procedure began, also involving 18 firefighters from Lagos, members of the Civil Protection unit, 11 operational vehicles and a helicopter.

Cruz Martins, commander of the Port of Lagos, told the Algarve Resident: “The 14 people in the water were rescued and taken to Praia do Camilo but two of the women failed to respond to resuscitation procedures.

“It seems the two elderly women died of sudden illness. The other victims showed signs of hypothermia.”

The victims were then transported to local hospitals, five of them to Portimão Barlavento Hospital and six to its other unit in Lagos.

A spokesman from Barlavento Hospital told the Algarve Resident: “All victims, but four, have been discharged from hospital. The hospitalised victims are three men, aged 69, 74 and 83, two of them the victims’ husbands, and one woman, aged 61. They remain under observation due to their advanced age and for psychological support.”

The maritime authorities have confirmed that the Sol de Lagos boat had all paperwork and licences in order, having been inspected in March. Cruz Martins added: “All victims were wearing their life vests correctly and the boat was not over-capacity.”

The sea recorded waves of about one metre high at the time of the incident with water temperature at 19ºC

A full investigation into the cause of the accident has now been launched by the Maritime Police.

The bodies of the victims were taken to the Portimão Legal Medicine Institute where an autopsy will be carried out.