112 incident

Search continues as families of missing Costa del Sol paddle boarders share video of the pair heading out to sea

The two young men were filmed by a tourist early on Sunday morning, before the empty board which they had been riding was found some 15 nautical miles off the coast the following day

Irene Quirante / Juan Cano


Friday, 1 September 2023


The families of Emmanuel and Maxi, the two Argentinean friends who disappeared on Sunday 27 August when they went out paddle board surfing, are convinced that the two young men were filmed as they left Misericordia beach in Malaga, on the Costa del Sol. They have released the video taken by a tourist early that Sunday morning who was on the Paseo Marítimo in Malaga city, in the hope of keeping interest in the story and the search operation alive.

A wide-ranging search air, sea and land to try to locate Emmanuel and Maxi has so far been unsuccessful, despite the fact that it was extended from Malaga city to the border with Granada province and, since Wednesday, also to the entire area of the Alboran Sea.

However, the paddle board they were on was found at around 6.30 pm on Monday. A Helimer 207 helicopter located it from the air, verifying that it was identical to a photograph provided by the relatives. It was drifting about 15 nautical miles southeast of Malaga city, and believed to have been blown there by the strong westerly wind that blew on the day of the friends’ disappearance.

The empty paddle board was found on Monday.
The empty paddle board was found on Monday. SUR

A sailing boat passing through the area recovered the board, which still had a thermos with water used for drinking 'mate', the tea beloved by Argentineans. For the authorities, it was the definitive confirmation that the paddleboard was the same one on which the two friends had set off, as both had announced to their families that they were going to watch the sunrise from the sea, sharing this drink.

Their disappearance was noted from 4pm on the fateful Sunday when Maxi did not turn up at the ice cream parlour where he works. His relatives and his bosses called him repeatedly on the phone without receiving an answer. The same happened with Emmanuel, who was on holiday in Malaga.

Emmanuel's brother, Santiago Soria, told SUR that they had only been paddle surfing for a short time – they bought inflatable boards online – and had been out to sea three or four times. The day they disappeared there were yellow (risk) warnings issued by Aemet, Spain's state weather agency, for gusts of wind of more than 50 kilometres per hour and high waves.

A search operation led by Spain's coastguard and martime rescue service, also involves the Guardia Civil and the National Police to try to locate the pair. It consists of a Helimer 207 helicopter, four boats, Frontex and Guardia Civil helicopters, and an Air Force plane.

On Tuesday 29 August, two bodies were found floating in the sea and recovered eight miles from the shore in Fuengirola, according to authorities, which said that they were the lifeless bodies of two North Africans. Sources from the investigation confirmed to SUR that they were not the two missing Argentineans.





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