A POLISH man has been arrested for sexual assault after an incident in the coastal town of Almayate led police officers into a tense two hour stand-off at sea.

The incident occurred on Sunday afternoon at around 2.00pm on the El Hornillo beach in Almayate, close to the Axarquian capital Velez Malaga.

A statement from the Policia Local of Axarquia described a 26-year-old man of Polish origin attacking a female beach-goer before fleeing.

According to reports, the man exited the water naked after swimming and made after a young woman, grabbing her from behind and groping her.

The woman managed to get free and retreated to a local beach bar where she informed local authorities.

Local officers were soon on the scene and tracked down the wanted man thanks to eye witness reports close to where the incident took place.

Upon realising he had been identified, the wanted man took off on foot in an attempt to avoid capture.

In desperation he re-entered the sea, swimming around 1500 metres from the shore line in an effort to evade capture.

After approximately 40 minutes, officers managed to obtain a small vessel loaned from a local fisherman to approach the floating man.

The effort was soon joined by a vessel from the Salvamento Maritimo and after two hours of bargaining the man finally allowed officers to hand him a life jacket, before the two vessels closed in and officers managed to grab the assailant and drag him on board.

As the rescue team arrived on dry land, he was treated for the effects of fatigue and slight hypothermia, and was arrested for sexual assault.

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