Brave tourist saves seagull from certain death in front of 200 onlookers

Benjamin swam out 500 metres to save a distraught seagull.
Benjamin swam out 500 metres to save a distraught seagull. / SUR
  • Londoner Benjamin Kouijzer's heroic sea rescue caused quite a stir on the Fuengirola seafront

A 33-year-old tourist had an unusual end to his holiday this week while taking a last walk along the promenade in Fuengirola. Benjamin Kouijzer and his mother, Jean, were strolling along the beach front in Fuengirola eating ice cream when they noticed a commotion in the sea. Benjamin’s attention was attracted by a flock of seagulls that were hovering above what he quickly realised was a seagull in distress. He knew that something was wrong, but was not sure if it had an injured wing, or was inhibited to fly by something attached to it.

Benjamin and his family are animal lovers and he knew he could not leave the seagull to drown, and so he plunged into the sea in order to save it from certain death.

“We were just strolling along the paseo in Fuengirola eating an ice cream, after having enjoyed our last evening meal together, when we saw the distressed bird with a flock of seagulls hovering above it,” Benjamin’s mother told SUR in English.

The terrified bird was quite close to the shore when Benjamin first spotted it, but the tide soon began to take the seagull out to sea, and he had to swim out almost 500 metres before he was able to reach it. The seagull’s legs had become entwined in some discarded fishing line, but Benjamin managed to free it, enabling it to rejoin the agitated flock.

“It was a moment of sheer joy and a crowd of around 200 people who had watched the rescue gave a rapturous applause as the bird flew off to join his friends, Jean explained.

Benjamin returned home to London the following day - leaving his proud mother with a wonderful memory of his visit.