Spain has been on a major lockdown for a number of weeks now during the COVID-19 pandemic. Only essential workers can work, people can only go out to shop for groceries or medication, or to walk their dogs. Going to the beach is out of the question.
The police are vigilant, constantly patrolling, ready to catch, fine or arrest anyone breaking the rules. In this case, however, breaking the rules turned out to be justified and saved lives.
Men make mercy dash to rescue dolphins
It happened in Fuengirola, a popular seaside resort on the Costa del Sol in southern Spain. Local residents, Gary and Lottie Adamson were on the balcony of their beachfront apartment. They watched in horror as six dolphins became stranded on the beach. The huge waves had washed the hapless mammals ashore.
Ignoring any lockdown rules, Gary instantly ran downstairs and across the promenade to the beach to go to the dolphins' aid. In the meantime, Lottie phoned their nearby friends to ask them to help. The friends instantly went to Gary’s aid on the beach, while local police vehicles were patrolling from both directions.
While the friends were running to save the dolphins’ lives, the police started blaring their sirens. Ignoring them, the three men began splashing the dolphins with water to keep them alive. Each steered a dolphin out into the water and held it in a swimming position, hoping to get the sea mammals back out to sea.
Police join in the rescue
While at first the police officers were angry and intent on stopping the three friends, they suddenly realized what was going on. In the meantime, two more police cars had arrived on the scene after the action had been caught by a police drone, flying over the beach.
Instead of running after the men to arrest them, the police officers also got involved in the rescue operation. Once the dolphins were safe and sound out in the water, the police officers thanked the quick-witted friends for saving their lives. They informed them what they were doing did not flout the lockdown rules, as dolphins are considered a protected species in Spain.
Three heroes tell their story
Euro Weekly News interviewed the three friends, Gary, Steve and Mark, about the story. Gary explained that he and his wife Lottie had seen the dolphins were clearly in trouble. He said he had no choice but to run to their aid, while shouting to Lottie to call his friends, Steve and Mark. He said he got to the beach first and began attempting to rescue the first of the marine mammals.
Gary said he could hear sirens wailing behind him, but he ignored them, while getting the first dolphin to swim to safety. His friends arrived on the beach, panting hard, and started helping the dolphins get back into the water.
Gary said it was at this stage, the police realized what was going on. They saw the friends were not messing around on the beach, but were saving lives.
Gary’s friend, Steve, said as soon as he got Lottie’s call, he looked out and saw Gary would have problems on his own. While a small breed, the dolphins were heavy. He immediately ran down the promenade to Gary’s aid.
Steve realized the police were hot on his tail, blasting their sirens, but he ignored them and carried on running. He saw Mark running from a different direction to the scene, with cops in full pursuit.
Like a 'Starsky and Hutch' movie
Steve compared it to a “Starsky and Hutch” movie as they jumped over the sea wall to the beach with cops hot on their tail. However, once on the beach, the police officers realized what was happening and immediately came to their aid. He said at that stage he was exhausted, because it was one “hell of a run.”
Mark Sutherland also spoke about the incident, saying Steve had a head start on him, but as he is "old," he managed to overtake him. He did say it was a little “hairy” having the cops running after him. However, he was happy the cops had "common sense" and realized they were not up to “naughties.”
Naturally, the whole experience was scary, as even local police carry guns in Spain. With the aid of the three friends and several police officers, the six dolphins managed to make it back into the rough waters and swam away, no doubt grateful to live another day.