Tragic Sunday: Three youngsters die in drowning incidents

Three youngsters – all male and aged 13, 18 and 21 – died in separate drowning incidents across Portugal on Sunday (August 21).

All three drownings happened at river beaches or dams.

The first tragedy occurred at Senhora da Ribeira, a river beach in the parish of Pinheiro de Ázere in Santa Comba Dão (Viseu).

The young man, 18, was at the beach with his family and was reported missing at around 3.45pm, his body being found that night at around 9.30pm.

He had gone to get a ball that his nephew had thrown to him,” said Santa Comba Dão fire chief Hélder Mota, adding that the youngster “lost his footing and disappeared.”

The second victim was a 13-year-old boy who drowned in the Tejo River near the Valada river beach in Santarém.

Flávio Ferreira – who according to local newspaper O Almeirinense lived in Almeirim and played football for local club FutAlmeirim – disappeared at around 7.10pm. His body was found around half an hour later. Firefighters tried to revive the youngster, but his death was declared on the spot at around 8.15pm.

A third tragedy was confirmed on Monday morning after divers found the body of a 21-year-old man who had disappeared after jumping from a bridge, which links the parishes of Rio Caldo and Vilar da Veiga, into a dam in Terras de Bouro, Braga.

His disappearance was reported at 3.30pm on Sunday, while his body was found on Monday at around 11.40am at a depth of 20 metres near the bridge’s first pillar, just five metres away from the spot that he had jumped off from.

It is unclear why it took until the following day to find the body considering it was so close to where the youngster had disappeared, although Lino Oliveira from the Terras de Bouro volunteer firefighters explained that they had trouble reaching the area on Sunday because the access area – the Alqueirão river beach – was packed with cars.

The young man’s body was due to be taken to the Cávado legal medicine office in Braga to undergo an autopsy.

By Michael Bruxo

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