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Search For Missing Fisherman

A young Madeiran, aged 25 years old, is missing in São Jorge after being washed into the sea by a freak wave at 20:00 last night.

Firefighters from Santana and SANAS have been searching since they received the distress call,  however, due to nighttime constraints the search had to be called off until 07:00 this morning, when the search was resumed along the pebble of Calhau de São Jorge, Santana. The Captain of the Port of Funchal is coordinating the search on the ground, which, at the moment, has used all means possible including: a surveillance boat, a vessel from the Funchal lifeguard station, a SANAS vessel, Portuguese Airforce search and rescue helicopter, a drone, and by land, a team from the Santana Volunteer Firefighters and officers from the National Republican Guard (GNR).

The National Maritime Authority has confirmed that the Portuguese Naval ship NRP Hydra and its crew are now part of the search team.

In a statement, Rui Teixeira said that the “search area has now been widened from São Jorge to the tip of São Lourenço. During the afternoon, our searches were intensified with the assistance of two Army teams. SANAS also provided two divers, while the search and rescue helicopter team have been working tirelessly since first light this morning.”

The man, whose name has not been released, serves in the Portuguese Army and is a native of Câmara de Lobos.

Samantha Gannon

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