Irish holidaymaker drowns while swimming in Portugal

Man (57) went in to cardiac arrest at the Benagil Sea Cave, near popular resort of Lagoa

An Irish holidaymaker has died while swimming at a tourist attraction in the Algarve.

The 57-year-old went in to cardiac arrest while swimming at the Benagil Sea Cave, near the popular resort of Lagoa in Portugal.

Police and paramedics were called just before 3pm on Monday after the man was taken to dry land on a boat.

Emergency responders attempted to save his life but were unable to do so, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Family members are understood to have been with him at the time.


A spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said it is aware of the case and is providing consular assistance.

“As with all consular cases, the Department does not comment on the details of individual cases,” she said.

A spokesman for Portugal’s National Maritime Authority confirmed overnight: “A 57-year-old Irish national died yesterday afternoon having gone into cardiac arrest after swimming at the Benagil Sea Cave.

“An alert was received just before 3pm, informing us that a person was unwell after being taken to the nearest strip of sand.

“Officers from Portimao’s Maritime Police local command, as well as paramedics and other emergency responders, were mobilised along with firefighters from Lagoa.

“Upon arrival at the scene, they found the holidaymaker had been removed from the cave by a tourist boat and taken to the beach area where he was assisted by medical experts who carried out CPR. It was unfortunately not possible to save the man’s life.

“He was declared dead at the scene and his body subsequently taken to the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences in Portimão by Lagoa voluntary firefighters.

“The Maritime Police Psychology Office was activated and is providing support to the victim’s family.”

The dead man has not yet been named.

Monday’s death comes five weeks after another Irish tourist drowned on the Algarve in front of his partner. The 52-year-old got into difficulties at Inatel beach in Albufeira.

Jack White

Jack White

Jack White is a reporter for The Irish Times