Paulo, what I don't understand is, if the boat was in the breaking zone and heading for the beach, why on earth did two
(not one - but two!) rescue boats head out in 5 metre breakers to get them?
Apart from "hero" status, what were they hoping to achieve?? Surely all the rescuers needed to do was to wait on the beach and tell the people on board to don lifejackets??
Can you explain?
Do you think people risk their lives in vain? That hero thing mentality is not very common around here. People do what they have to do because they fell they have to do it not because they want to play heroes.
When the mayday was issued the boat was with the mast in the water after being rolled and several, if not all crew was on the water drowning. In fact it was not possible to save one. The mayday was received by two different port authorities that sent there to help what they got, a life boat and a maritime police boat. An helicopter was also deployed.
The Accident was not on the beach but on the river bar that extends well offshore.
I can understand how someone might try to enter a bar in bad weather - and I'm sure you can too. It isn't always that easy to see the breakers from the ocean - and people don't like spending the night at sea, even in a modern plastic boat, when all their friends are telling them they should be in harbour for dinner and drinks at the Yacht Club... Staying out at sea is for old wooden boats and salt-encrusted sailors.
Well I don't. specially if it is an unknown bar. Maybe because I know that almost every year German, French and British die here trying that stunt.
That bar is marked in all pilot books as dangerous with bad weather. Many times you cannot understand from the distance the danger it represents an unknown bar.
Face to that warning on all pilot books the thing to do is to call the Port captaincy and ask for advise. They would be told that the bar was closed to boats with less than 35m. If they insisted they would have been advised that if they tried they would face a legal law suit. They would be advised to stay well offshore and to proceed North or South, to Peniche, Nazaré or Leixões where the Ports remain open.
Because of the stupidity or lack of seamanship of the sailboat crew a rescuer died will trying to save their lives. I believe someone that is out there in bad weather should know what he is doing. Obviously these guys didn't. I find that unacceptable since they are putting other lives at risk...and for what? For not having to endure a disagreeable night at sea and I say disagreeable because with that boat in the conditions out there that was just what it would be, a cold rainy disagreeable night, not a dangerous one.