Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Portugal: British Grandfather, 66, Granddaughter, 5, Perish from Rough Seas While Walking Along Beach

Every now and then an incident that takes the lives of innocent foreign travelers becomes so gut-wrenching in terms of its impact on families that it is a challenge to fathom and understand. This is one such event that will only reconcile a family unit through the peace found in faith.

For the complete story in the Telegraph, see:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/portugal/9491146/Portugal-drowning-victims-Lara-Lewis-5-and-her-grandfather-swept-to-death-by-freak-wave

At 1400 hours on Tuesday (August 21), Lara Lewis, 5, and her grandparents, Jill and Brian O'Dwyer, both in their sixties, were walking along a stretch of beach at the tourist resort of Nazare, located some 60 miles north of Lisbon.

Lara's parents, Philip and Sian Lewis, were sunbathing on the beach when the grandparents decided to take Lara for a walk along the beach In Praia dos Dalgados. Unfortunately, Lara and her grandparents wandered into a section of beach not protected by lifeguards and known to be particularly treacherous and capable of pulling beach-walkers into the rough water.

All three, Lara and her grandparents, were pulled into the powerful surf. Although two nearby fishermen were able to rescue Jill O'Dwyer, who has already been discharged from a local hospital, tragically, Lara and Brian both drowned

COMMENT: Our condolences and sympathies are extended to both the Lewis' and the O'Dwyers in the hope that they will find peace solace at this tragic time.

As many of our regular readers know, I regularly urge foreign travelers not familiar with beach areas and coastal waters found abroad to talk to local lifeguards FIRST before ever venturing near such areas, given the prevalence of ripe tides [or ripe currents] and strong currents that can pull beach-goers out to sea.

Anyone caught in a powerful current or ripe should never attempt to swim toward shore, but rather swim parallel to the shore in order to escape from the pull of the current.