A LOCAL hero has saved the lives of two children drowning in the sea in Benalmadena.
Business owner Marco has received thanks and praise from across the community after saving the lives of two Spanish children from drowning in the sea in Benalmadena.
Speaking to the Euro Weekly News, Marco, the owner of La Fiesta bar in Benalmadena, explained he had been on the beach opposite Hotel Triton when the dramatic rescue took place.
He said: “I sat down by the sea and by chance I heard someone shouting “save me” in Spanish.
“I turned and saw that two children, a boy and a girl, were in the water.
“Their father was further away and did not know what had happened, so without thinking about anything, and even though I am not very a very good swimmer, I took my belongings out of my pockets and ran into the sea to save them.”
Marco, 37, whose real name is Mohammad Maleki but is known by the nickname around Benalmadena, said: “The water was not deep where the boy was but when I began looking for the daughter it was deeper.”
“I got the son but to get to the daughter was a bit harder because of the rocks but I eventually got them both and dragged them out of the sea.”
“The father then ran towards me and did not know what had happened.”
Marco said the girl was aged around 4 and the boy around 6 and that both children were Spanish.
He said the children had been drowning and that both had swallowed a lot of water. Marco said: “The children almost drowned. Another two minutes and they could have died.”
He said the father “couldn’t thank me enough” and that he offered to give Marco, whose clothes were now soaking wet, a lift in his car.
Marco said he turned down the offer as he had his bike, only to find that he had lost his keys during the rescue, leaving him to walk through the streets of Benalmadena with wet clothes.
During the brave act, Marco also sustained injuries to his hands and legs on the rocks, but says he is no hero and simply wants to warn other parents of the dangers of the water for unaccompanied children.
The bar owner explained that he is well-known locally, especially with Britons, and that his story has taken off online, with many calling him a hero and praising his bravery.
He told the Euro Weekly News: “I am not a hero. Everyone needs to do what they can to help each other.”
He said that he is simply, “very pleased that I could save the lives of two children,” however.
He warned locals and tourists: “My advice to parents is that they do not leave children on the beach. The sea is not as shallow as they think.”
He added: “I want to tell everyone because Benalmadena is quiet at the moment and everyone is coming to swim but they need to be careful with kids, it can be very dangerous.”
Marco is now advising all parents to accompany their children at the sea ahead as tourism begins to open up this summer.