Have-a-go hero saves mother, daughter and dog from swirling currents

A 42-year-old Ovar fisherman saved a 60-year-old woman, her daughter and one of the women’s much-loved dogs from certain death on Saturday after all three were swept up in swirling currents.

Manuel “Russo” battled for half-an-hour to rescue the trio, and ended up with an injury to his leg, reports Sábado, but told reporters: “I had to help. I have already saved people at this exact same spot.”

Russo was line-fishing on the southern jetty of Praia do Furadouro when he saw the women enter the water, trying to rescue one of their dogs.

The animal had jumped into the sea with his smaller four-legged companion, but couldn’t get back.

The older woman “went straight in and her 33-year-old daughter went in after her”, explained the fisherman, but the strong current meant both immediately found themselves in difficulties.

Thanks to Russo’s rapid understanding of the situation, he managed to use his fishing rod to push the older woman back towards rocks, so that she could climb to safety.

He saved the dog the same way, but he couldn’t reach the younger woman who was being taken away by the swirling waters.

“The girl was in trouble. She was panicking. When a wave brought her closer, I went in and got her,” he said.

By the time everyone was safely back on dry land, Ovar firefighters were at the scene, and the younger woman was transported “for the sake of precaution” to nearby Hospital da Feira.