Missing girl at sea in Monte Gordo was found alive by a freighter

Searches lasted about 24 hours, but had a positive result.

The 17-year-old girl who disappeared late Saturday afternoon, pushed by the wind on a paddle board, at Coelho beach, in Monte Gordo, municipality of Vila Real de Santo António, was found alive today, according to the Maritime Authority.

“The young woman was found alive,” José Sousa Luís, spokesman and public relations for the Navy and the National Maritime Authority, told Lusa.

According to Correio da Manhã, the young woman was spotted by a freighter, which alerted the authorities.

The young woman was located 25 miles (about 46 kilometers) south of Vila Real de Santo António by a merchant ship that was sailing on its way to Tangier, in Morocco.

A Portuguese Air Force helicopter was sent to collect the young woman, who was in a “high state of hypothermia”, still on top of the paddle board she was traveling on when she disappeared, according to the commander of the Captaincy of the Port of Vila Real de Santo. Antonio. The teenager was transported to the Hospital de Faro.

The captain of the Port of VRSA explained to Jornal de Notícias that, on Saturday at the end of the afternoon, the wind was blowing from the north, strong, at around 20 knots, approximately 37 kilometers per hour. Pushed into the sea, the young woman will have panicked and was unable to head to the coast.

That newspaper adds that the teenager's father, who was on the beach with other family members, accompanied by friends, still tried to reach the young woman by swimming, when he saw her in difficulty, but he was unable to reach her.

From the moment they received the information about the disappearance, “all available means were activated, which were many”, assured the port captain of VRSA.

In the searches, 20 operators were involved in seven means in the water, as well as a heavy helicopter from the Air Force, a rescue boat for shipwrecked people from Spain and means from the GNR and Civil Protection, among others. The search began at night.

According to the Council of Vila Real de Santo António, to assist in operations, a Municipal Coordination Post was set up at 10:00 am on the Passadiço de Monte Gordo.

The operations were coordinated by the Captain of the Port of VRSA, by the Mayor of VRSA and by the President of the Parish Council of Monte Gordo, who were present at the site.

The Municipality of VRSA provided support to search operations, operationalization and logistical support through the SMPC and General Services, having 3 vehicles and 8 operators on the ground.