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Woman “swallowed by sea” as Storm Doris hits Portugal

A woman is missing after being “swallowed” by the sea in one of the very few ‘serious incidents’ resulting from the arrival last night of Storm Doris.

The tragedy came when the woman, along with a group of friends, was “offering gifts to the Queen of the Seas” in a bizarre ritual that took them all dangerously close to crashing waves on Ílhavo’s Costa Nova.

In all, four of the group’s members ended up in the water: three managing to grapple their way back to safety.

According to reports, the ritual – celebrating the African “Festa de Iemanjá – was “taken by surprise” by a wave of “large dimensions”.

Everyone involved tried to escape, explains Correio da Manhã this morning – and those that dodged the horror immediately set about trying to rescue the ones that hadn’t.

“But they could no nothing” for the 34-year-old woman, who by all accounts “disappeared” as she was swallowed up by the force of the raging waters.

Searches by land and sea for a body are now ongoing.

Elsewhere, a surfer had to be rescued at Nazaré’s iconic Praia do Norte, while Storm Doris’ high winds ripped tiles of countless roofs in the north.

According to CM, police ended up fining surfers who insisted on entering the sea in Nazaré and Peniche last night, and until the early hours of this morning, access to beaches on Costa da Caparica was prohibited.

But, in general, yesterday’s ‘red warning’ alert passed without too much drama and has now been downgraded.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com