9 Sep, 2010 @ 11:09
1 min read

British father and son drown in holiday tragedy

By Wendy Williams

A BRITISH father and son have drowned at Playa del Tesorillo in Almuñecar on the Costa Tropical.

Robert Wells, 75, and Jonathan Wells, 45, from Cobham in Surrey, died on Tuesday after the younger man leapt into the sea in a vain attempt to rescue his drowning father.

The pair, who were swimming despite the red flags warning of the danger from rough seas, were dragged under the water and drowned in strong currents.

Two Spanish men also risked their lives trying to rescue the pair but were unable to reach them because of the strength of the seas.

According to Jesus Balderas, 25, he tried to save the men but realised it was “almost impossible”.

He said: “The first person to enter the water was the older man, who was drowning, and then the younger man went in to save him and neither came back out.

“I went in to help them but the older man was already injured and I saw he wasn’t calling for help or anything.”

Police and paramedics rushed to the scene but both Britons were already dead when they were pulled from the water.

Cecelio Fajardo, head of the local Civil Protection rescue team, said: “We were called just after 4pm saying a swimmer was in trouble and some others were in the water trying to rescue him.

“We sent out a launch which had great difficulty reaching the two men because the sea was so violent.

“By the time we got to them they were already dead and were only able to bring the bodies back to the beach.”

Police say the family has been informed.

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

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  1. Apart from the stupidity of swimming in the sea when there are red flags displayed (or maybe they didn’t see them, to give them the benefit of the doubt), what amazed me is the photo of this incident in the OP: two guys are surfboarding whilst the dead bodies lay on the beach. It kind of takes away from the seriousness of the situation… how bizarre!

  2. I agree, this photo looks very odd when put against the article. Surfers need big waves which may look dangerous to normal recreational swimmers. I suspect there was a rip. Surfers use them to get out beyond the surf, but someone not used to this might well panic and try to swim against it, rather than with it.
    Very tragic, but what a heroic act of the son, and of the two spanish men who also tried.

  3. I was actually at that beach, half an hour after they died. I can tell you that there were no flags up. Also they werent dragged under the water, they were washed up onto rocks.

    Also only 1 spanish man tried to help them.

    You might also be interested that business was usual for the bar that was situated about 20metres from where they died. AND NOBODY WARNED US when we arrived at the beach, until after we went swimming and came back safely, then we were told the full story by eye witnesses next to us. Very strange cultural difference I think. This goes to show how the press is often inaccurate.

  4. We’ve since discovered they weren’t swimming. Mr Wells senior was walking by the beach and was washed into the sea by a freak wave. His son went in to help him. I’m amazed that later bathers were not warned.

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