UK & World News

  • 16 December 2013, 19:58

Portugal: Five Students Missing In Sea

One university student has died and five others are missing after they were swept away by a huge wave on a beach in Portugal.

Three men and four women, all in their early 20s, had rented a house for a weekend break at Praia do Meco beach in Setubal, south of Lisbon.

All seven were sitting on the beach late on Saturday night when they were dragged into the sea.

One of the men managed to swim back to shore and used a mobile phone to call emergency services.

Rescuers later found the body of one of the men and are searching for the four women and remaining man.

A military helicopter and boat are being used in the search.

Commander Carlos Manuel Lopes da Costa, leading the hunt, told Portuguese newspaper Publico: "We always hope of finding anyone alive."

The search area has been increased from a three-mile radius to a five-mile radius, to between Lagoa de Albufeira and Prais dos Lagosteiros, near Cabo Espichel.

Sesimbra mayor Augusto Polvora said: "We know that the sea here is dangerous, we often have yellow flags and red flags, but it is the first time there has been an accident of this kind."

Lusofona University in Lisbon, where the students were studying, has declared three days of mourning.

The flag at the humanities and technology campus is flying at half mast.

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