Fátima shepherds Lúcia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto.jpg

Lagos boat accident investigated

Two separate investigations have been launched by the authorities to determine the cause of an accident with a tour boat in Lagos last Tuesday, which led to the death of two German tourists.

The captain of the Sol de Lagos boat, who was interviewed by the Maritime Police last Wednesday as part of the inquiry, said the accident occurred after the 10 passengers, seeking protection from the rain, gathered at the bow.

The accident occurred off the Praia do Camilo coast, when the 6.4 metre long vessel flipped over. Two women, in their 70s, died.

Cruz Martins, commander of the Port of Lagos, had said last week that it seemed likely that the two women had died of sudden illness. However, only an autopsy, the results of which have not yet been announced, will determine the cause of death.

According to Correio da Manhã, the Portuguese captain said the passengers had gathered at the bow to protect themselves from the rain under umbrellas. It was when the boat sailed along the coast off Camilo beach and the passengers moved to one side to look that the boat overturned and sank, said the 56-year old captain.

Cruz Martins told the Algarve Resident this week that two separate investigations have been launched, one by the Captain of the Port and the other by the General Attorney’s Office (Ministério Público).

“The witnesses have now been questioned and once all the information has been collected, it will be sent to the Ministério Público,” he said.

The four victims who had been in hospital under observation, three men, aged 69, 74 and 83, two of them the victims’ husbands, and one woman, aged 61, have since been released, said a spokesman for Barlavento Hospital.

The victims are said to have returned to their home country.