Man drowns, another missing at Portimão’s Prainha beach

A 65-year-old man has drowned, and a 25-year-old man is missing and believed to have been swept out to sea at Portimão’s Prainha beach this morning (May 26).

Authorities were contacted at around 10.28am about a possible drowning at the beach, Portimão port captain Gonzalez dos Paços has told Lusa news agency.

When authorities arrived, the older man was already dead while a younger man, José Moniz, had gone missing. It is believed the latter jumped in the water to rescue the man. According to CMTV, the young man’s girlfriend confirmed that he could not swim.

The couple were enjoying a sunny day at the beach when they spotted the older man in the water calling for help.

José Moniz’s girlfriend says he did not think twice and immediately jumped into the water to try to rescue the man despite not knowing how to swim.

While he was apparently able to reach the man, he also started struggling in the water and quickly disappeared from sight. Fears are that he may have been knocked unconscious after hitting a rock.

Maritime authorities started searching for the younger man immediately by land and sea and are being aided by an Air Force helicopter.

The search party also includes members of maritime police, the national medical emergency institute (INEM) and Portimão firefighters.

Sea searches are being carried out by two lifeboats and a jet ski and aided by local surfers.

The bathing season officially starts on June 6 and beaches aren’t yet supervised by lifeguards.

(updated at 16:40)