CALLS have been made for better beach safety after an off-duty policeman drowned while attempting to rescue two Irish surfers.
Carlos Calderon Arias dived into the water at El Palmar beach, near Vejer, after spotting the men in difficulty.
The 33-year-old, from Sevilla, was on holiday with his wife, who was left waiting on the beach as he swam out to help.
Following a search operation, the Guardia Civil diving team found Arias’ body in the water, 400m away from the last spot he had been seen.
Meanwhile a female surf teacher helped the two surfers ashore.
“It is very sad news,” said British expat Charlotte Hanson.
“We visit El Palmar regularly and had no idea the currents were so strong.”
Meanwhile Vejer mayor Jose Ortiz agreed the issue of beach safety needs to be taken more seriously.
“People need to be warned before they go swimming,” he said.
Currently the only signs at El Palmar beach are those forbidding playing with balls or bringing dogs in the beach.
There are no warnings about the currents.
Arias has since been posthumously awarded a Gold Medal for Police Merit by Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz, who praised his courage and described the events as ‘tragic, sad and touching’.
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