A ‘hero’ British father has died trying to save his two daughters off a Portuguese beach after they got into difficulty in the sea.
Trevor Pelling, 45, a financial consultant, was already suffering cardiac arrest when he was pulled out of the ocean by surfers.
Locals and a nurse who was on the beach spent nearly an hour trying to save him before he was pronounced dead.
The tragedy happened just after 2pm on Thursday at Calada Beach in Encarnacao about an hour’s drive north-west of Lisbon.
The man was initially described as a Dubai-born national who was travelling on a British passport.
This morning he was named in Portugal as a British financial specialist called Trevor Pelling who was on holiday with his family and is currently based in the Middle East for work reasons.
Mr Pelling describes himself on LinkedIn as an Abu Dhabi-based area manager at deVere Acuma, part of one of the world’s leading independent financial advisory organisations.
The British holidaymaker was trying to aid his two daughters aged 12 and nine when they got into difficulties because of the strong current.
They were later taken to Santa Maria Hospital in Lisbon for a medical examination. A psychologist is assisting the grief-stricken youngsters and their mum, who has not been named.
Lifeguard patrols on the beach where the tragedy occurred are not due to begin until June 12, although qualified Navy specialists working to protect the public through the so-called ‘Seawatch’ project were mobilised after the alarm was raised.
Calada Beach – Praia da Calada in Portuguese – is a long sandy beach that has the shape of a seashell.
The popular surfers’ spot is surrounded by tall cliffs which protect it from strong winds.
Portugal’s National Maritime Authority said in a statement issued late on Thursday: ‘A man aged 45 died today at Calada Beach, an unguarded beach in the district of Mafra, as he was trying to help his two young daughters aged 12 and nine when they got into difficulties in the water.
‘The alert was received at 2.40pm through the District Operational Command Assist Centre in Lisbon.
‘Cascais Maritime Police officers and officials from the “SeaWatch” project were immediately sent to the location using an Amarok vehicle.
‘Three volunteer firefighter ambulances from Ericeira and two emergency and reanimation medical vehicles from Torres Vedras were also mobilised.
‘Upon arrival at the site they found a man had been pulled out of the water by two surfers, he had gone into cardiac arrest and a nurse who was at the scene had begun to perform life-saving techniques which were then continued by the firefighters.
‘Despite their attempts to resuscitate him, it was not possible to reverse the situation and he was declared dead at the scene.
‘The body of the dead man, who was of foreign nationality, was later transported by the volunteer firefighters to the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Torres Vedras.
‘The two children were taken by ambulance to Lisbon’s Santa Maria Hospital, in a stable situation, accompanied by their mother.
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