This is the moment an injured swordfish thrashes in the water as “reckless” holidaymakers take selfies with it before then trying to restrain it as it frantically flaps around in the shallow water.
The incident was filmed by visitors to Albufereta Beach on the Costa Blanca in the south-eastern Spanish province of Alicante and shared on social media where one clip has been viewed 180,000 times.
Reports said that the swordfish (Xiphias gladius) eventually died, despite the efforts of some of the beachgoers who are said to have tried to help it.
According to local media, the highly migratory, predatory fish was injured at sea and approached the shore in pain.
Animal experts who checked its corpse after it died said that it had a punctured belly and cuts to its flippers.
Juan Guillen from the Foundation Institute of Litoral Ecology said that swordfish do not normally approach the coast and also bemoaned the “reckless attitude” of beachgoers who tried to handle the thrashing animal as it could have caused serious injury.
Video footage shows the animal approaching the coast while thrashing in the water before a group of bathers gather in the shore.
At one point, five men try to restrain the frantic swordfish as it flapped around in the shallow water.