Bathers call emergency services after boat goes up in flames off the shore of Marbella

Beachgoers, initially, thought it was a pleasure boat in distress.
Beachgoers, initially, thought it was a pleasure boat in distress. / ISA GALVACHE
  • Before the fire broke out, the craft had been pursued by a customs patrol boat and 14 bales of hashish were recovered from the sea

Bathers on Marbella beach watched in amazement as dramatic scenes unfolded in front of their eyes this Sunday (16 May).

A boat came ashore to drop off two men, who hurried off. After leaving them, the boat headed out to sea again at full speed. Suddenly, the boat caught fire. What happened to the person on the boat? Was he rescued by a jet ski?

Witnesses initially thought it was a pleasure boat in distress and called the emergency services for help.

It happened at around 2pm between Cabopino and Costa Bella beaches.

“I was in a restaurant and I saw perfectly what happened. I didn't really notice the two men who got off the boat at the shore because they looked like normal people. But I was struck by the fact that they ran away," said a witness. He was also surprised by the speed with which the boat headed out to sea again. "Now everything fits," he said, after learning that they were drug traffickers.

The six-metre long recreational boat was, in fact, fleeing from a customs service patrol boat. During the pursuit, the drug traffickers threw 14 packages with more than 500 kilogrammes of hashish overboard, according to sources.

Authorities suspect that the boat was torched, after dropping off the two men, to destroy any evidence on board. When the fire broke out, several jet skis approached the craft and picked up the driver. Customs officials believe they rescued him and took him to safety; but what is not known is whether they were accomplices.

The case is still being investigated.