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Quarteira fisherman dies during three hour wait for rescue

helicopterMerlin101A 74-year-old fisherman died on Thursday afternoon after the Princesa do Mira, from Quarteira, floundered and sank two miles south of Faro.

The alert was sent out and received by rescue services which did not locate the men in the water until 4.55pm, nearly three hours later, by which time one crew member had died and the other, a 55-year-old, had already been rescued by a passing French yacht.

The Fishermen's Association of Quarteira alerted the National Maritime Authority which passed on the message to the Captain of the Faro port at around 2.00 p.m. Quarpesca, said the Princesa do Mira crew had contacted it to say the vessel was in difficulties as it had no power.

The Captain of Faro port immediately contacted the Lisbon Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Centre and the search was started, hampered by the fact the precise location where the boat had sunk was not know.

The Navy, a Maritime Police vessel, a lifeboat from Olhão and a Merlin helicopter from the Portuguese Air Force all scoured the area.

At 4.55 p.m., with the help of the French yacht, the helicopter confirmed the position of the two victims and spotted some flotsam.

The French yachtsmen managed to haul aboard one of the fishermen and spotted the other one in the water, already dead.