Ferruco Sacco and his girlfriend Araceli Chaves leave hospital on Tuesday. Antonio Salas
A 33-year-old Marbella resident miraculously survived an 80-metre fall on Monday while following the Caminito del Rey path around the gorge in El Chorro. Italian Ferruco Sacco and his girlfriend Araceli Chaves, both climbing enthusiasts, were rounding the second canyon when the climbing cable that replaces the path snapped.
Ferruco fell 80 metres - the equivalent of 26 storeys - landing in a pool of water between some rocks. It was the water, combined with the rucksack on his back, that cushioned his fall. He was practically unhurt and has escaped with 12 stitches in his chin and bruising.
Foreign visitors saw the fall from a crag opposite the path and raised the alarm. They believed that he had been swept away by the current.
In fact, as Araceli later explained, Ferruco had thrown himself into the water voluntarily, out of pure “survival instinct”.
Again, it was his rucksack that saved his life. “It acted as a buoy and brought him up to the surface,” explained Araceli. The water dragged the climber for around a hundred metres until he was able to climb onto a rock.
His girlfriend eventually spotted him from above. “I saw him there, standing up, and I shouted: ‘You’re alive... and walking!’.”
Ferruco was lifted from the gorge by helicopter by the Guardia Civil mountain rescue team (Ereim) and taken to Malaga’s Hospital Clínico.
Leaving hospital on Tuesday, Ferruco said: "It was luck. I was saved 10 per cent by adrenaline and 90 per cnet by a guardian angel." This is not the frist time the Italian has had a miraculous escape from death. When he was 18 he suffered a serious traffic accident and broke four vertebrae.