Newspapers in Portugal speak of a miracle: a young woman missing in the sea was rescued alive around 20 hours after she disappeared about 45 kilometers off the coast of the Algarve in the south of the country.

The 17-year-old Erica was spotted on a paddle board by the crew of a Dutch freighter on Sunday evening and taken on board, Portuguese media reported, citing the authorities.

The exhausted and severely hypothermic teenager was taken to the hospital by helicopter, but she is now doing well under the circumstances, it said. “We found her in a severely hypothermic state. She was only in a bikini and had to stay on the board all night,” said Afonso Martins, the port captain of Vila Real de Santo António.

Disappeared while stand up paddling

Erica disappeared on Saturday when she was carried away by the strong wind while stand-up paddling on the beach on the border with Spain, according to the municipality, among other things. Her father jumped into the water to help her, but had no chance, partly because of the strong wind. The young woman held out on her board in the sea in strong waves.

“Miracle in the Algarve” was the headline not only in the newspaper “Jornal de Noticias”. A spokesman for the University Hospital in Faro, where the young woman was treated, said that “everyone was surprised” at the hospital too. “It takes a lot of survival instinct, self-control not to panic. This girl is a hero,” said Horácio Guerreiro.

Bericht “Público” Bericht “Jornal de Notícias” Mitteilung der Gemeinde Vila Real de Santo António auf Facebook