A BRITISH man has been found dead on a paradise Algarve beach.
The 27-year-old backpacker’s body was discovered at around 8am today on Armona Island’s white sand beach off the coast of the town of Olhao, Portugal.
Emergency services, including maritime police, responded after a local raised the alarm.
They immediately raced to the scene but could do nothing to save the man.
An investigation was underway today to try to establish the cause of death, with an accidental drowning being cited as a possibility by well-placed local sources.
A police source said: “At around 8am, an island resident contacted police to report a body was on the beach.
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“A Maritime Police team and Olhao lifeguards went to the scene and found a lifeless man lying on the sand.
"He was in the fetal position, face down, wearing shorts and bare-chested.
“The body was still wet although low tide today was around 6.30am which suggested he had been in the water.
"The body was actually between high tide and low tide lines."
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An autopsy is expected to take place in the coming hours and will be key to helping police discover what might have happened.
Police say there were no visible signs of violence on the dead man's body.
His passport was found inside a backpack near to his location.
Several people were interviewed on the island by police investigators.
Another source close to the case added: “According to locals, he was seen the night before having dinner in a restaurant on the island with no sign that he was in trouble or ill.
“He appeared to be a traveller because of the rucksack he had with him among other things, which was one of those large ones often used by backpackers.
“Everything points to the dead man having gone into the water that night.
“Only an autopsy will now be able to clarify what happened, whether he was the victim of a sudden illness, or if he hit his head while diving or even if he was surprised by the rising tide while sleeping on the beach.
“There is nothing at this stage pointing to his death being the result of foul play.”
Armona Island – Ilha da Armona in Portuguese – is famous for its beautiful beach.
The island is just under six miles long and just over half a mile wide.
It is part of the Ria Formosa Natural Park.
About fifty people live on the island permanently and rely mostly on fishing and tourism.
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There are no cars on the island.
One travel write-up says of the popular destination: “If you love pure nature you will be fond of this place.”
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