Two illegal “top manta” street sellers made a dramatic sea rescue of a young girl who had got into diffculties in rough seas off a Marbella beach.
The incident took place in the beach of La Venus, that is near the sport port of the city of Marbella, in the southern Spanish province of Malaga, in the Andalusia region. The beach had a red flag that means swimming is banned due to the conditions.
It is also a place where lot of “manteros” (illegal street sellers) have stands to offer their products to tourists, beachgoers and visitors.
The teen girl, whose name has not been revealed, decided to go swimming despite the red flag and started to have problems in the sea. She raised the alarm by calling for help after being dragged some 300 m out to sea and getting into difficulties.
Local newspaper Diario Sur reported that the man who had been a former marine rescue student in his childhood, named Jose Lacalle, 30, and two “manteros” (illegal street sellers) went into the sea to help the girl after hearing the shouts of her panicked boyfriend asking for help.
The first one to reach her was Lacallewho said: “I had gone to the beach to refresh a bit, I live nearby and I went there after work.”
Lacalle also told newspaper Diario Sur that as well as his training for marine rescue as a youngster, he was now a keen water polo player with the club Waterpolo Marbella.
He added: “When I reached her I asked her how she was and she told me that she could not breath, so I calmed her down and told her that I was there to help her and started to swim with her held by the neck”.
The street sellers also helped in the rescue operation and are seen in the video dragging her out to the shore. They are seen in the video recorded by bathers and shared on Facebook.
The men managed to get her and dragged her back to the seashore, where others helped them to carry her to the sand.
The video, reported by a non Spanish speaker and shared on Facebook, shows the moment the girl is being helped by the street sellers and other people on the beach.
She can be seen walking with difficulties, exhausted and being helped. Lot of street sellers are seen in the area carrying the handbags and other products they tend to offer to the beachgoers.
A man named Fallout, one of the street sellers, said to local newspaper Malaga Hoy, that “it was difficult conditions to save a person, the water was very difficult”.
He added: “She was raising her hands asking for help, we were all really worried.”
People gathered there started to applaud the brave men while the teen girl is rescued almost unconscious and was then waiting for the arrival of the paramedics.
Medics from the ambulance that attended the emergency checked her health state and the teen girl was taken to the hospital Costa del Sol of Marbella in order to be checked.
Local newspaper ABC reported that the girl had signs of drowning in her report but she was not seriously injured and on Wednesday she was released.
The strong winds forced a ban on swimming on all of the beaches on the Malaga coast due to the huge waves.