A SPANISH man who was killed when his boat was in collision with the Gibraltar Custom’s vessel HMS Searcher died accidently, an inquest has ruled.
The news was greeted with anger in Spain with 200 demonstrators including the family of Alfredo Morodo gathering at the Gibraltar border to demand ‘justice’ for the father of two.
Coroner Charles Pitto and a jury had earlier heard how 42-year-old Morodo died when the two boats collided as customs officers investigated reports of tobacco smuggling on Levante beach.
The incident happened in the early hours of October 1, 2019.
Pathologist Dr Brett Lockyer, who conducted the autopsy on Morodo, told the inquest that he had suffered multiple injuries to the head and chest consistent with being crushed between his boat’s engine and the customs vessel.
In all likelihood death would have been instantaneous.
The helmsman of the Customs patrol boat and three officers who were on board testified anonymously behind a screen.
They told the coroner that they received a tip-off that tobacco smuggling was taking place on Levante Beach.
Both the captain and the three officers on board said that Morodo’s vessel came to a complete stop as the customs vessel approached and a turn made by HMC Searcher was slow.
However Morodo and a companion both fell into the sea, with fatal consequences for Morodo.