17 Mar, 2022 @ 12:52
1 min read

American tourist dies after being swept onto rocks while paddle surfing off San Sebastian beach in northern Spain

San Sebastian
Spanien, San Sebastian, Surfer am Nachmittag an der Bahia der La Concha, groesster Strand der Stadt, Europa Engl.: Europe, Spain, San Sebastian, late afternoon at the Bahia de La Concha, the city's biggest beach, with surfers, travel, Basque Country, Iberian Peninsula, Atlantic Coast, Gipuzkoa Province *** Local Caption *** 20401901

A holidaymaker from the USA died while paddle surfing on Tuesday after being swept away by big waves off a beach in San Sebastian in Spain’s Basque Country.

It appears that the 44-year-old struggled in strong currents and was swept onto rocks while he was in the water off Zurriola beach at around 2pm on Tuesday. 

People on the beach, including his wife, young children and mother-in-law, raised the alarm and emergency services rushed to his aid on jetskis.

But he was unconscious by the time he was brought back to shore and died despite efforts to resuscitate him. 

“The waves swept him towards the rocks around Sagües,” said a spokesman from the city council. “He was pulled out of the water by rescuers on two jet skis and brought to shore where medics spent half an hour trying to save him.”

A seasoned life guard warned of the dangers of practicing water sports in certain conditions and how tourists were often unaware of the risk.

“We are seeing that almost all those who die (in these circumstances) are from abroad. It is necessary to know well the currents that exist here,” warned Miguel Herrero, 

a lifeguard in San Sebastian in an interview with Noticias de Alava.

Others have questioned why the man was allowed to rent paddle boarding equipment on a day when seas were so dangerous, calling for such rental companies to take more responsibility.

However, one company in San Sebastian insisted they ‘were not the police’ and that individuals were responsible for their own actions.


Jorge Hinojosa

Jorge Hinojosa Mena was born and bred in Madrid before moving to the UK to study. After an undergraduate degree in Manchester, he completed an MA in International Journalism at City. He has worked in radio and for Spain’s Efe news agency before joining the Olive Press in March 2022. Contact: Jorge@theolivepress.es

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