Pregnant British woman, 33, and her friend drown off the coast of Alentejo
The 33-year-old woman was pronounced dead after surfers brought her ashore along with a 34-year-old British man who rushed into the sea to save her but also lost his life in the process.
The pair have been described locally as a couple, although police said they believed they were just friends.
The double tragedy happened at around 2.30pm at Zambujeira do Mar on Alentejo’s picturesque west coast.
Today Portuguese daily Correio da Manha reported that the unnamed woman who died was four months pregnant.
They also claimed that two friends who were with the Brits on holiday in the area witnessed the drama as it unfolded.
Maritime Police chief Rui Pedro Silva Filipe spoke after the tragedy to confirm the dead pair’s ages and nationalities.
He said: “They were in Portugal on holiday with a group of friends. It appears the man went to the woman’s aid when he saw she was in difficulties and was holding onto a rock.”
“He reached her but it was when they were coming back to the beach that they disappeared from view, maybe because they had got tired. Local surfers went to their aid and got them out of the water to a small area of sand near the main beach but by that time they had already gone into cardiac arrest.”
“Medical responders had already reached the scene and made an unsuccessful attempt to revive them by practicing CPR.”
“They were taken to a local health centre where they were pronounced dead and their bodies have now been taken to Beja for the autopsies to take place.”
The beach where the tragedy occurred has no lifeguard service after September 15th, and officials have described the sea yesterday afternoon/on Sunday afternoon as a “little bit rough.”
Strong currents are believed to have played a part in the tragedy, which led to the mobilization of emergency responders including police and firefighters as well as a Portuguese Air Force helicopter which removed the Brits’ bodies from the area of sand the surfers took them to.
Social media warnings highlight the “Zambujeira Rip current” located left of the main beach.