Santa Clara reservoir - body of Richard Chapelow recovered

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chapelowAfter nearly three weeks of anguish, as divers tried time and time again to locate the body of Richard Chapelow beneath the deep waters of the Santa Clara Reservoir, his remains were spotted in the water by a local.

The 29-year-old Briton was one of four being pulled at speed on a ‘banana boat’ inflatable by others on a speedboat.

All were guests of British billionaire Jon Hunt who owns substantial property assets in the Santana da Serra area of the lower Alentejo.

Chapelow’s body has been removed from the lakeside by local Bombeiros and taken to the hospital in Beja for an autopsy but it widely is assumed that when he was thrown from the banana boat as it flipped over, that he was knocked unconscious and drowned.

The other three on the inflatable, also thrown into the water, were able to swim to the speedboat but Chapelow was not seen again until the lake gave up his remains which were discovered early on Saturday morning.


An earlier statement from Jon Hunt read, “My family and I are devastated by the loss of Richard, following a tragic accident at Santa Clara Dam.

“Our thoughts and prayers are wholly with Richard's family, and we ask that both families are given space to grieve such a painful loss".

John Hunt, 65, founded the Foxtons estate agency in 1981, selling it for £375 million in 2007 and has other business interests. Hunt is said to have extensive property interests in the Ourique area.


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