A five-year-old British girl and her grandfather have drowned in Portugal after being swept out to sea by a freak wave as they strolled along a beach.
Lara Lewis and Brian O’Dwyer, 66, were walking along Salgada beach at Nazare, a picturesque fishing village 80 miles north of the capital Lisbon, when they were knocked off their feet by a wave and swept out to sea.
A woman, believed to be the child’s grandmother, Jill O’Dwyer, was with them and was also swept out to sea but survived and is said to be recovering in hospital.
They were outside an area patrolled by lifeguards when the wave overcame them. It is understood the three had left Lara’s parents, Philip and Sian Lewis, sunbathing to take a walk. Mr and Mrs Lewis were described as being “in deep shock” last night.Some further details:
The tragedy happened shortly before 2 pm yesterday. Two fishermen on a small boat saw the three struggling in the water and rushed to help, pulling them out of the sea and alerting the rescue services.
But by the time they reached shore the man and the child had stopped breathing. Rescue services on the beach tried to revive them but without success.
“The grandfather was already dead when he was pulled from the sea and the NIEM (National Institute of Emergency Medicine) team did their best to revive the young girl but to no avail,” said Alberquerque e Silva, the commander of the Port of Nazare rescue services.
“The two victims, accompanied by the grandmother, had left the area of Salgada beach, which is under lifeguard surveillance, and went for a walk during which, we believe, they must have been knocked over and swept away by the waves."A very tragic case indeed! While it is easy to say that this is another case of "swept away by waves", this one feels so close to our real lives. Go visit a nice beach how can one not be tempted to take a stroll along the beach?! It can happen to any of us! Our prayers go to the Lewis family and may the grandfather and granddaughter rest in peace.
This dailymail article has more pictures of Lara and her families, they called her the "magical" girl. Here is Express's concise report of this news,
TRAGIC five-year-old Lara Lewis was playing with sea shells when she was swept to her death by a huge freak wave on holiday in Portugal, it was revealed yesterday.
The girl’s grandfather Brian O’Dwyer, 66, also drowned as he tried to save her – while locals had to rescue her grandmother Jill.
The two bodies were pulled from the choppy Atlantic by fishermen at the resort of Nazare, a fishing village 60 miles north of Lisbon.
Lara had been strolling with her grandparents, who live in Portugal, and her three-year-old cousin on a quiet part of Salgado beach.
Her parents Philip Lewis, a university professor from Hackney, London, and Sian Lewis are thought to have been sunbathing not far away when the incident happened at 2pm on Tuesday.Let's hope and pray that this is the last happening of this kind of case for a long long time!