A British sailor woke up 100 miles away from sleeping point in Marbella after his anchor breaks
David Robert, 65, had to be rescued by firefighters after he got out of bed to discover he was in danger off a shoreline he did not recognise.
In fact, he had drifted overnight and was lying off La Caleta beach in Cadiz, where a bikini-clad Halle Berry was filmed walking out of the sea in James Bond movie Die Another Day.
He told gobsmacked police when he was brought ashore that he should have been off the Costa del Sol resort of Marbella 110 miles away, and must have drifted through the busy Strait of Gibraltar without realising it.
The 22-foot vessel, called Miss Brenda, has been described as a write-off but has electronic equipment worth an estimated £6,500 on board.
Local Maritime Authority officials said they had yet to hear from the owner about how he planned to remove the vessel.
A worker at the Hotel Cortes de Cadiz, the three-star hotel where Mr Robert stayed overnight, said today: “He left early this morning so I can’t put you through to his room.
“He said he had to get to Faro in Portugal and as he couldn’t go by boat he was taking a plane.”
The sailor should have been off the Costa del Sol resort of Marbella
A spokesman for the Maritime Authority in Cadiz said: “We’ve been trying to speak to him because he needed to present us with a written plan about how he intended removing the vessel.
We haven’t heard from him and we’ve no idea where he is now
Maritime Authority in Cadiz
“We haven’t heard from him and we’ve no idea where he is now.
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“All sailors know they have to contact the Maritime Authority when something like this happens.
"They have 24 hours to do so. It’s not our job to remove the boat and we haven’t got the resources to do it.”
Spanish media reports said the British sailor, who declined medical assistance, told police officers he had fallen asleep off Marbella and had woken up in Cadiz after dozing for hours as he drifted after his anchor broke.
In fact, he had drifted overnight and was lying off La Caleta beach in Cadiz
It meant he would have crossed the Strait of Gibraltar, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, when fast asleep.
Police today confirmed his version of events, describing it as “a little surprising” but insisting they were not planning on investigating further as no-one had been hurt.
The alarm was sounded around 5.45am on Thursday morning.
A police spokesman said: “We were informed by a street-cleaner working near the beach about a boat which was on rocks and sounding its horn.
“We alerted firefighters and coastguards but as the boat was near dry land firefighters ended up taking the sailor off.
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“He said his anchor had broken and he had drifted without realising it across the Strait of Gibraltar from Marbella to Cadiz.
“The officer he spoke to has a good command of English so it wasn’t a case of us getting the wrong end of the stick.
“We offered to get him checked out by a doctor but he said he just wanted a hotel so he was taken to one that was nearby so he could get some rest.”
The boat was still on the beach as of yesterday.
It was not clear when the yacht would be removed or if anyone knew of Mr Robert’s whereabouts. It is not known where in Britain Mr Robert is from.
The sailor must have drifted through the busy Strait of Gibraltar without realising it
A spokesman for the local coastguards confirmed: “We were called by the Civil Guard around 5.40am on Thursday.
“The vessel had run aground near the shore by the time we mobilised a rescue team so firefighters helped the occupant to safety in the end.”
A Maritime Authority source added: “The vessel is a write-off. The hull was very badly damaged.”
La Caleta beach is Cadiz’s smallest beach. It is located in the historical centre of the city.
Its main attraction is its location. Apart from Halle Berry’s bikini scene in 2002 Bond film Die Another Day, it also featured in 2006 Spanish epic Alatriste starring Viggo Mortensen.