British tourist dies on Portuguese beach after falling ill following swim

The woman fell ill after swimming in the sea on  Penedo beach  (Simon Calder)
The woman fell ill after swimming in the sea on Penedo beach (Simon Calder)

A British woman died in Portugal after she fell ill following a swim in the sea on Penedo beach.

According to a statement issued by the National Maritime Authority (AMN), the alarm was raised around 1.15pm on Wednesday when a person reported feeling unwell after getting out of the water on the tourist beach in Albufeira, Correio da Manhã reported.

The 45-year-old was assessed by paramedics but was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Local Command of the Maritime Police of Portimão, the SeaWatchProject and the Medical and Resuscitation Vehicle (VMER) of INEM were sent to the beach.

“The elements of the Local Command of the Maritime Police of Portimão, the 'SeaWatch' Project and the Medical and Resuscitation Vehicle (VMER) of INEM were immediately activated,” a statement read.

A witness at the beach at the time of the incident said nurses at the scene fought to save the woman’s life before paramedics arrived.

“Myself, my sister and another person, both nurses, were at the scene. I took her out of the water with support from another person ... these nurses fought to save her life before the excellent paramedics arrived on the scene,” the witness said.

The unnamed Briton's body was transported to the Medical-Legal Office of Portimão, by the Albufeira Fire Department. Portimão is a port city in the Algarve region of southern Portugal and Penedo Beach, also in the Algarve, is a beach with a first aid centre and a lifeguard service.

An FCDO spokesperson said: “We have not been approached for consular assistance but stand ready to provide support if necessary.”

In April, a British man was stabbed to death in the Algarve holiday resort of Albufeira. The man aged 25-30 died after being knifed several times next to an apartment in the centre of the town.

The Algarve is Portugal’s southernmost region, and a popular tourist spot lined with beaches and resort towns. Around 2.7 million tourists visited the Algarve in 2021.