A beach lifeguard who had tested positive for COVID-19 and was supposed to have been in self isolation was arrested at a beach by police including some in full hazmat gear for breaking quarantine and refusing to exit the water.
The arrest occurred at the Zurriola Beach in the city of San Sebastian located in the Spanish autonomous community of the Basque Country yesterday.
Authorities were alerted by someone who recognised the surfer as the lifeguard from another beach where she is on leave after testing positive for the virus and being assigned quarantine.
According to local newspaper ‘El Pais’, sources claim the people who contacted police were “her own co-workers who knew she could not be in the street and saw her go in the water”.
The woman, whose identity has not been reported, was approached by a police boat while she was surfing and asked to exit the water but ignored their orders.
The suspect stayed in the water another hour before she was seen being escorted off the beach as witnesses looked on.
The videos show different moments of the surfer’s arrest.
One video shows the moment an officer wearing a hazmat suit and another in police uniform wait at the seashore to detain her.
One shocked witness filming them is heard saying: “While I was surfing, a lifeguard was telling a woman to get out of the water because she tested positive for coronavirus but she refused and now they are waiting for her.”
Another video shows the suspect surrounded by cops and apparently showing to be non-cooperative as they spoke.
A final video shows the moment the surfer, now wearing a face mask, is handcuffed and escorted off the beach by two officers in hazmat suits.
The surfer has been charged with gross disobedience and a crime against public health, she also faces a fine for breaking quarantine.
It is unclear what her possible sentence may be if found guilty. There have been no further reports on the incident.