Luz Saúde Physician Participated in the Longest Transatlantic Kitesurf Crossing


Diogo Albergaria, general-surgeon from Hospital da Luz and Hospital Beatriz Ângelo, who integrated the crew assisting the transatlantic kitesurfing crossing made by Francisco Lufinha and the German Anke Brandt, classifies the experience as “enriching and very intense”.

The two kite surfers had the goal of completing a non-stop kitesurf flight, taking intercalary shifts over the sea, from São Miguel island, in the Azores, to the mainland. Overall, they covered 1.646 km in 10 days (from 4 to 13 September), establishing a new world record.

Besides medical assistance to other members of the crew, from seasickness to gastroenteritis, Diogo Albergaria, at mid crossing, had to assume other tasks: “As in the first four days there was no wind, the crossing took longer than it was expected. One of the crew members had to return to the mainland for professional reasons, so I stopped being merely the doctor on board and accumulated other tasks, such as steering the boat, help manoeuvring the sails and kitesurfs, basically all work on board”. “I just didn’t cook”, reminds the surgeon, laughing.

And while the Portuguese Francisco Lufinha and the German Anke Brandt raised no problem – since, according to the physician, they were physically well-prepared and needed only follow-up concerning fatigue and muscle pain management, a work of physical recovery provided by the physiotherapist on board –, it was the rest of the crew that gave more concern to Diogo Albergaria.

“In the last three days, one member of the crew got seriously sick. What seemed initially to be a serious gastroenteritis, ended in evacuation to the hospital already off the coast of Cascais. It turned out to be an appendicitis, the crew member having been submitted to surgery and being now in recovery”, refers the doctor.

Hospital da Luz ensured medical assistance in this transatlantic crossing, the longest ever in pairs. Along the 10 days, aboard the support boat, Diogo Albergaria had a medical area equipped with the necessary devices to provide clinical assistance, emergency care and reanimation, such as a defibrillator monitor, surgical kits, suture material, oxygen bottles, medication drugs and serum systems, among others.

In the photo, Diogo Albergaria (third on the left) celebrates with the team, on arrival to Oeiras.