Unsung holiday hero.jpg

Unsung holiday hero

By DAISY SAMPSON [email protected]

A holiday in the Algarve took a dramatic twist for 17 year old Michael Comfort.

For while he and his family relaxed on the beach in Albufeira on September 2, he ended up risking his life to save a fellow swimmer.

Sue Comfort, his mother, told the Algarve Resident: “We had gone to the beach and Michael and his brother Matthew were playing along the pier, jumping off into the water and swimming back around when I noticed lots of people shouting and waving their arms.

“The sea had been very calm but was now quite choppy and I was worried there was a problem with one of my boys so we went over to find out what the problem was, and this is when we found our son with the life guards and another boy of a similar age who was lying on the pier,” she said.

It transpired that Michael and 14 year old Matthew had both been on the pier when another swimmer, also with his brother, had got into trouble in the water. 

The elder of the boys had gone under the water and not resurfaced and his younger brother had been attempting to find him and pull him out of the sea.

“Poor Matthew watched as Michael dived under the water several times before he eventually found the other boy on the seabed and dragged him to the surface while he waited for lifeguards to come and help,” said Sue.

She added: “The younger of the other boys was hysterical as Michael tried to find his brother, who by this stage had drifted out more than three metres from the pier. It was thanks to Michael’s bravery that the other boy was pulled up before a real tragedy could happen.”

Both Michael and the boy he rescued were examined by paramedics at the scene but did not need further medical assistance.

Michael Comfort told the Algarve Resident: “When I saw someone splashing about in the water I suppose it was just instinct for me to jump in and try and help. The other boy was very limp when I pulled him up then the lifeguards came and helped me and the boy out of the water.”

He added: “When I knew that we were both fine I just walked back along to the beach, I am not sure if the boy even knew that it was me who pulled him up from the seabed.”

“We had all had a fantastic holiday in the Algarve and this was our first short haul trip for many years, it was a great trip away and the event has not put us off coming back,” said Sue who is now back home in Farnborough, Hampshire.

She added: “After he had been checked out Michael simply walked back along the beach as if nothing had happened when in reality he had acted as a real hero and saved another person’s life, he is a true hero.”

Maritime authorities were unable to confirm the incident as neither boy was taken to hospital.

However, a spokesman from the Albufeira Maritime Police told the Algarve Resident: “There are warnings telling swimmers not to jump off the pier as it is dangerous to do so.

“Lifeguards are stationed on the beach to be able to assist swimmers who find themselves in trouble in the water.”

Do you have a view on this story? Please email Editor Inês Lopes at [email protected]