A Maritime Police patrol boat, chasing a fishing boat suspected of illegal fishing in the Ria Formosa, collided at speed with a second boat with two people on board, a father and his 40-year-old son.
The accident happened at 06:30 this morning in the Ria Formosa lagoon near Faro.
While the first boat escaped in the early morning darkness, a fisherman in the second boat was seriously injured and was rushed by ambulance to Faro hospital where he remains in critical condition.
The medics have issued a ‘reserved’ prognosis for the 65-year-old local who now is in an induced coma.
The Maritime Police team, having ploughed into the second boat, stopped to assist the two men and had to let the first boat go - it has yet to be identified.
A Maritime Police spokesman said that the service is "following closely the evolution of the situation, and has already sent a psychologist to the scene to support the fisherman's family and the operatives involved in the accident."
An inquiry will be held to establish how an innocent pair of fishermen ended up being rammed in the dark by a speeding patrol boat.