Bathers in Spain catch suspect after ‘drug boat’ runs aground on beach | Spain

It was meant to be a leisurely break as Spain sweltered through record-breaking temperatures. But beachgoers in the southern province of Granada inadvertently found themselves in pursuit of a pair of alleged drug smugglers after a cannabis-laden boat careened on to their pebbled shore.

The chase began Saturday evening after maritime police spotted a suspicious boat off Melicena beach. Police boat in tow, the small vessel headed full tilt towards the beach, seemingly oblivious to the bathers, chairs and umbrellas that dotted the shoreline.

A police boat gives chase.
A police boat gives chase. Photograph: @MqGuardiaCivil

The incident was captured on video. “It’s coming this way,” a man could be heard saying. Urgency and astonishment tinged his voice as the boat continued its full speed approach. “Look, look! they’re going to disembark here!”

The boat lurched on to the shore, nearly crushing a bather, prompting a string of expletives to ring out across the beach. As police sirens blared in the background, two men dashed out of the boat in an attempt to flee on foot. A dozen or so beachgoers – many of them clad in swim trunks and bikinis – gave chase.

Bathers react after a boat is run aground.
Bathers react after a boat is run aground. Photograph: @MqGuardiaCivil

The crowd soon managed to corral in on one of the men, shoving him to the ground as he attempted to make his way across the beach. “He was like an animal that had been let out of cage,” one bystander told news agency Atlas. “He didn’t know which way to go because he was surrounded on all sides.”

Police arrived within a few minutes. By then the beachgoers – who reportedly included an off duty police officer – had pinned one of the men to the ground while others forewent an evening dip to keep an eye on second man’s whereabouts.

The Guardia Civil said one arrest was made at the scene and a second man was later detained nearby.

As police led one of the arrested men off the beach, the crime-fighting beachgoers made their way to where the boat had run aground to see what was on board.

Packages police said contained cannabis are found hidden on the boat.
Packages police said contained cannabis are found hidden on the boat. Photograph: TWITTER/pablogallegosmo

“Sweet mother of God,” exclaimed one as another lifted a flimsy plastic cover to reveal more than two dozen neatly wrapped packages. Police later said the boat was transporting more than 700kg (1,540lb) of cannabis.

The bold actions of the beachgoers was later hailed by a police association. “Thanks to all, because without you it would not be possible,“ the Jucil tweeted.

Speaking to reporters the following day, those at the scene stressed how rapidly the events had unfolded. “We were sunbathing and all of a sudden we hear a boat nearing at full speed,” said one woman. Another added: “The fear comes later, when you think of it and you say ‘madre mía’ [this happened] in such a tiny village.”

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