British tourist, 23, plunges to his death on coastal rocks in Spain

British tourist, 23, plunges to his death on coastal rocks after slipping off historic cannon in Spanish seaside resort

  • The man, not named by police, climbed on the cannon after night out in the town
  • But he apparently lost his balance and fell to his death on the coastal rocks below
  • Emergency services rushed to the scene, but they were unable to save the man
  • The canon jets out over a historical defensive wall, with a long drop below
  • Two other people are reported to have died in similar circumstances 

A British tourist plunged to his death in the early hours of this morning after losing his balance while scaling a cannon at a historic Spanish site.

The 23-year-old holidaymaker, not named by police, had climbed on the huge cannon pointing out to sea after a night out in the town of Sitges near Barcelona.

But the young man apparently lost his balance and fell to his death on coastal rocks below while he was being watched by his horrified friends.

The police, who were informed of the tragedy at around 3am on Tuesday, confirmed the victim was British, and was with two other people at the time of the accident.

The emergency services arrived on the scene and attempted to resuscitate the tourist, and a helicopter was sent to the scene.

However, he died of his severe injuries before he could be taken to hospital.

A British tourist plunged to his death in the early hours of this morning after losing his balance while scaling a cannon (pictured) at a historic Spanish site

The 23-year-old holidaymaker, not named by police in Sitges near Barcelona, had climbed on the huge cannon (pictured bottom-right) pointing out to sea after a night out in the town

The Mossos d’Esquadra (Catalan police), who are investigating the incident, said: ‘Everything seems to indicate this was an accidental death.’ Local authorities are said to have put the accident down to ‘reckless imprudence,’ La Vanguardia reported.

A spokesman for the police force said: ‘A 23-year-old British holidaymaker died in the early hours of Tuesday morning in an incident that is being treated at this stage as an accident. 

‘He appears to have fallen from a replica cannon in front of a church by the sea overlooking rocks which are there to protect the sea wall and landed on the rocks as he fell,’ adding he was pulled from the water by a passer-by and a friend.

‘He was pronounced dead at the scene. A routine investigation is underway but there is nothing pointing to the death being the result of a crime and it is being treated as a tragic accident at this stage.’ 

A police source added: ‘It will be up to the autopsy to determine if the dead man had been drinking or had consumed drugs before this occurred. ‘This is not something police would comment on at the moment.’ 

Further details have not yet been released.

The young man apparently lost his balance and fell to his death on coastal rocks below while he was being watched by his horrified friends

The emergency services arrived on the scene and attempted to resuscitate the tourist, and a helicopter was sent to the scene. However, he died of his severe injuries before he could be taken to hospital

According to Spain in English – an English-language Spanish news website – the 23-year-old is the third reported person to have died falling from the same cannon.

The website said an Italian man died falling from the cannon ten years ago, and before that, another British man died under the same circumstances.

Pictures of the cannon show it jetting out over the edge of a historic defensive wall, with a steep drop onto a cliff face, which meets the ocean below. 

The cannon the man was said to be climbing on is an authentic replica of the original 18th-century gun, one of six that once protected the town.

The original stood next to the San Bartolome y Santa Tecla Church for 200 years before it was removed for restoration works.

The site serves as a gateway to the old town.

On 27th April 1797, the cannons were used in a battle with two English frigates trying to capture merchant ships anchored off the coast of Sitges.

After four hours of cannon fire, the English ships withdrew defeated.

The cannon the man was said to be climbing on is an authentic replica of the original 18th-century gun, one of six that once protected the town (pictured in an aerial photo)

The tragedy is the latest in a series which have resulted in the death of British holidaymakers and expats since the resumption of international travel following the easing of the Covid crisis.

On Sunday six-year-old Corey Aughey from north Belfast died in hospital after falling into the swimming pool of the hotel where he was staying with his family in the Majorcan resort of Sa Coma near the Love Island villa.

And last month a British toddler drowned in a swimming pool accident on the Costa Blanca. Freddie Joseph Briggs died in the pool at his parents’ home in the village of Aigues near Benidorm on May 25. Local council to declared three days of mourning.

Tributes were paid to the 19-month-old boy at his funeral service at a church in Belfast where he was christened before he was buried at a nearby cemetery.

The child’s father Marc Briggs, known to friends as Briggsy and thought to be from Mansfield, Notts, and Belfast-born mum Jane Mohan had moved to the Costa Blanca shortly before the tragedy.

Expat Ingrid Dale, 67, originally from Dereham in Norfolk, died after being stung by a wasp in a Costa Blanca restaurant on May 9.

She is said to have gone into anaphylactic shock in front of pals at the bar in the coastal town of Moraira half an hour north of Benidorm.

She died in an ambulance outside the Hill Top Sports Bar & Grill after going into cardiac arrest before she could be taken to hospital.

Later the same day a British man drowned in a nearby river which had claimed the lives of three other people in the past month as he tried to save his dog.

Former Royal Navy sailor Paul Lebihan, originally from Gateshead, died after getting into difficulties in the river at a beauty spot a short drive from the Costa Blanca resort of Benidorm.

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