Swimming bet tourist causes major alert
A tourist who sparked a full-scale rescue mission off a Spanish beach when friends feared he had drowned after a swimming bet was found safe a few hours later miles away and still wearing his bathing trunks!
Local police, firemen, the Mossos d’Esquadra, the Civil Guard and Maritime Rescue were all involved in the search for the Belarus man who is now likely to face a hefty bill for the emergency call-out.
At one stage, even under-water drivers were drafted in to look for his “body” during the three-hour scare.
Police say the man had been out drinking with his friends in Girona when they decided to go to the beach of Playa de Rastrell in the Roses district for an evening swim.
The group had a bet on who could reach the buoys the fastest but the man, a lorry driver by trade, did not return. Concerned that he had got into difficulties in the water, his friends called the emergency services who then started the search.
Unknown to them, the man had actually become disor-ientated and swam to another beach about half a mile away.
When he couldn’t see his friends, he thought they had abandoned him and still wearing just his trunks, he hailed a taxi to where he thought their car had been parked.
Versions of what happened next vary. Some media say he was found by his friends inside a sex club, others say the man himself went to the local police station because he had no money. In either event, his mates ended up paying for the taxi!