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SOS Rescue Call A Possible Mistake

Yesterday, the 26th of December, the Coastal Rescue Centre received a call to assist someone who had  fallen into the sea  from the São Roque pier in Machico.

According to a press release published by SANAS on its Facebook page, once the Santa Cruz Rescue Station received the call the lifeboat was at the scene within 17 minutes.

Failing to catch a glimpse of anyone, the rescuers then spoke to bodyboarders who had been surfing in the waters to see if they could provide any information with regards to the incident.  After an hour and a half of unsuccessful searches, the operation was cancelled.

So far it has not yet been possible to confirm whether this event was a false alarm or whether, in fact, someone is missing at sea.

In a statement issued this morning (27.12) by SANAS, it is believed that the alarm was raised in good faith but was probably due to a misunderstanding.  Apparently, the request for help was made by a bodyboarder who saw a person at the end of the São Roque pier. As the swell was quite strong and suddenly the person was no longer there, the surfer alerted the authorities. 

What is thought to have happened is that the bodyboarder must have actually seen a person on the pier, but then this individual realised the danger posed by the swell probably fled back to shore without the surfer seeing them.

Samantha Gannon

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