Meco wave tragedy

Meco wave tragedy: Was it a student ritual that went horribly wrong?

As grieving parents agonise over the final hours of the Meco six, more and more reports coming through suggest the tragedy could well have been a university prank that went horribly wrong.
The latest information comes from the cleaning lady of the house in Aiana de Cima that the youngsters rented, reveals Correio da Manhã.
“I saw them crawling with stones tied to their feet,” Etelvina Fonseca, 67, told the paper.
The strange behaviour was witnessed hours before the group, in full university robes, walked down to the beach from which they were later swept to their deaths by a freak wave on December 15.
Locals interviewed by Correio da Manhã say they also found broken eggs and empty bottles of spirits on the beach on the morning after the tragedy.
But the information about ‘crawling with stones tied to their feet’ seems to have been enough to satisfy the newspaper that the youngsters had indeed been taking part in ‘violent rituals’.
“The land where the young people were seen crawling is a cultivated plot in Aiana de Cima, bordered by a chestnut tree and umbrella pines. The students subjected to the ritual had to crawl with stones tied to their feet for about 80 metres,” said witnesses.
“I went to talk to them, to ask what they were doing,” a local told the newspaper. And the answer apparently was “a student ritual”.
It’s something also borne out by a text message sent by one of the girls as she got ready for the weekend. Joana Barroso wrote: “I will see if I survive”.
“Survive what?” is what the students’ parents want to know. Did the youngsters know what challenges lay ahead? Had they anything to do with surviving the might of the waves – known to be strong on this stretch of Sesimbra coastline?
Parents’ agony is compounded by the fact that the only witness to their children’s deaths is remaining tight-lipped and behind closed doors, with psychologists helping him saying that João Gouveia has developed ‘selective amnesia’ of that fateful night.
Meantime, the ongoing investigation by the Public Prosecutor into the multiple deaths hopes very soon to interview João Gouveia.