A young American couple was stranded for 12 hours in Benagil’s sea cave after going for a daring swim to visit the famously stunning location yesterday afternoon (June 3). The sea was so rough they couldn’t swim back.
The couple, aged 22 and 21, decided to swim to the cave from Benagil beach after learning that boats had cancelled trips there that afternoon due to the rough seas, Lagoa fire commander Vítor Rio told us.
Although they made it to the cave well enough, the couple soon realised that waves had become too strong for them to make it back safely.
As the cave is relatively remote and only accessible by sea, the couple had to wait through the night until someone heard their calls for help in the morning through the hole at the top of the cave. The cliffs above are regularly visited by walkers.
Lagoa firefighters were called to the scene and took nearly two hours to lift them to safety through the hole. Commander Rio explained that the tide was still too strong for maritime police to rescue them by sea.
Although the young couple had no visible injuries, they were taken to Portimão Hospital nonetheless as precaution. At the time of writing, a hospital source confirmed the couple was still under observation.
It is little wonder the couple had gone to such lengths to visit the cave. Just recently, the UK’s Guardian had featured Benagil’s stunning cave as one of the world’s “best natural wonders”. Last year it was also listed as one of the world’s “Top 10 Coolest Caves” by American online paper The Huffington Post – as well as one of the “50 Most Breathtaking Places to Visit Before You Die” by Singaporean website The Smart Local (see https://www.portugalresident.com/benagil-cave-one-of-world%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Cbest-natural-wonders%E2%80%9D).
To see the video of the rescue, go to http://www.cmjornal.xl.pt/nacional/portugal/detalhe/turistas_presos_em_gruta_no_algarve.html
By MICHAEL BRUXO | [email protected]