Tofo is an amazingly safe spot to swim – usually. But every now and then, a storm surge on a good spring high tide wreaks havoc with the sand. This last storm was no exception and it scoured out right up to Casa Barry’s steps – making the local fishermen stow their boats way up the headland that makes Tofo bay, and stealing a few straw parasols from out front.
Then after a few days, low tide reveals the little sandbank reforming – and at dead low it goes knee deep – great for bathers to venture right out there into the crystal blue. But. When the tide comes back, as what happens at many similarly laid out beaches – the trouble starts.
As it gets deeper and the current stronger, bathers on the sandbank are pushed back towards the shore – and into the basin that forms between the sandbank and the beach. And this is where the drownings occur.
There are no lifeguards at Praia da Tofo out of season, and until I heard the shouts, I had no idea someone was in trouble. As I got it worked out – some kid had gone the way of the basin – a local fishing row boat came to the rescue.
These two guys were in the shorebreak in the corner, and when they heard the shouts and saw the bather go under – turned their row boat around, and accelerated – charging towards where the kid had gone under. I have never seen a row boat go with such grace and accuracy. They got to where the kid went down in a few seconds and one of the fishermen jumped off the back and into the basin. After a few breathtaking seconds – he surfaced with the kid, who looked very dead from my angle.
Anyway, he wasn’t. These fishermen saved his life. After a few seconds the kid spluttered and coughed and went into shock – but alive.
Mais Respecto Amigos! Parabens!