LISBON, Portugal – The parents of three children caught in a current off the coast of southern Portugal drowned while trying to save them. The children survived, but a fourth adult involved in the rescue also died as horrified families on the beach watched.
The children — a British boy and his sister and a German girl, aged between 9 and 11 — were in the surf on a beach near Sagres, about 120 miles south of Lisbon, when they were caught by a strong current and cried out for help Monday, the southern Algarve region's civil governor Isilda Gomes said.
"A number of adults on the beach, including the children's parents, rushed into the sea to help," Gomes told the AP by telephone on Tuesday.
The parents of the British children and the father of the German girl were trapped by the current and strong waves and drowned, as did another British woman, she said. Another British man was hurt and remained in hospital Tuesday.
The British and German families were staying at a nearby hotel.
Recent hot weather has drawn many people to Portugal's beaches, but autumn tides are notoriously dangerous.
Officials said the beach, whose strong waves make it popular with surfers, had signs in Portuguese and English warning the public it was unguarded.