A German tourist is feared to have drowned in the waters of Bravura Barragem, in the hills above Lagos, while out on a pedalo with her family. At the time of going to press, the body of the missing woman, 42-year-old Susane Dervil, had still not been found.
Dervil disappeared after the pedalo capsized, for reasons that are still unclear. Two boys, the woman’s son and nephew, managed to swim ashore to safety. Her French husband was standing at the side of the dam with friends and other family members, but they failed to notice what had happened, since they didn’t have a clear view of the water. The alert was sounded when the children emerged on the riverbank, in a state of shock but otherwise unharmed. Lagos bombeiros despatched two boats and three vehicles to the scene, as well as an ambulance and 20 divers. A helicopter from the National Fire and Civil Protection Service also circled the waters at low altitude for some time, but failed to spot the woman. José Fonseca, Commander of Lagos Bombeiros, said that divers would remain in the area and that his team would also remain vigilant until Dervil’s body was found. But last Monday the bombeiros chief announced that he was temporarily suspending the divers. Fonseca then said the divers would resume their search within the next three days, but only “along the banks of the river and near the water’s surface”. He guaranteed that the area would continue to be monitored at least until Thursday or Friday of this week when 10 days will have elapsed since the accident. Then a decision will be made on whether to abandon the search operation. “The low temperatures at the bottom of the dam could be delaying the emergence of the body,” Fonseca said.