British man feared dead after being thrown from banana boat while holidaying in Portugal

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Richard Chapelow is missing and feared dead following a boating accident in Portugal (Facebook)

A British man holidaying in Portugal is feared dead after he disappeared following a boating accident.

Emergency services continue to hunt for Richard Chapelow, who was reportedly thrown from a banana boat on the Santa Clara Dam at about 5pm on Monday.

He was a guest of property tycoon Jon Hunt, the founder of the Foxtons estate agency, who owns property in the area, a spokesman for Mr Hunt said.

Mr Chapelow was part of a group of 10 Britons at the popular watersports and fishing spot, about an hour’s drive north of the Algarve region, local media reported.

Mr Chapelow was reportedly thrown from a banana boat on the Santa Clara Dam at about 5pm on Monday (Rex/stock photo)

A statement issued on behalf of the Hunt family said: ‘My family and I are devastated by the loss of Richard, following a tragic accident at Santa Clara Dam.

‘Our thoughts and prayers are wholly with Richard’s family, and we ask that both families are given space to grieve such a painful loss.

‘We will be working closely with the Portuguese authorities to understand what has happened, and are grateful to the local police and fire services for their efforts. It is a time of great sorrow.’

Local volunteer fire chief Mario Batista told Portuguese media four people were on a banana boat with another six on a boat towing the inflatable.

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One rider disappeared after all four were thrown from the float, he said.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: ‘We are assisting the family of a British man reported missing in Portugal and are in contact with the local authorities.’

The man’s family have been informed, the spokeswoman added.

The Santa Clara Dam, about 25 miles from the southern city of Ourique, and about an hour’s drive from the Algarve resort of Portimao, is popular with both watersports and fishing enthusiasts.