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Spanish man dies in collision with Customs vessel off Eastern beach

Gibraltar's chief minister sent condolences to the man's family.
Gibraltar's chief minister sent condolences to the man's family. / SUR
  • The tragic incident occurred late on Monday night and a full investigation is being carried out; the deceased man lived in La Línea

A Spanish man died in a tragic incident off Eastern Beach on Monday, when his boat was involved in a collision with a Customs vessel in the middle of the night. The Royal Gibraltar Police have named the man as 42-year-old Alfredo Morodo Gutiérrez, a resident of the neighbouring town of La Linea de La Concepcion.

A full investigation is being carried out into the incident and Gibraltar's chief minister, Fabian Picardo, sent his condolences to the family of Morodo Gutiérrez and expressed his sympathy to the mayor of La Línea, Juan Franco.

In a statement, Picardo also expressed his concerns about the welfare of the Customs officers involved in the incident, especially that of the officer who is reported to have bravely dived into the sea to attempt a rescue.

The chief minister said: "This incident highlights the bravery of our law enforcement officers and confirms our decision to invest in new vessels which provide them with the safest possible working environment in which to carry out their dangerous work. We will continue to invest in the resources they have at their disposal to do their jobs safely and securely. We have also amended our law considerably to strengthen the powers of law enforcement agents. We will continue to do so as we may be advised is necessary or desirable by the Commissioner and the Collector. This sad matter now lies with the Coroner's office and is therefore sub judice. We will obviously be providing as much information as we can and operating closely with Spanish law enforcement agencies to ensure the family of the deceased have as much information as possible on the circumstances of this tragic event."

There were angry scenes in La Línea when the news broke, with a crowd of over 100 people reportedly throwing stones and other objects at the police. There have also been calls on social media for protests to be carried out at the border between La Línea and Gibraltar this week.