WATCH: Paddleboarder narrowly avoids plummeting boulder in Gibraltar
A Gibraltar man says he feels like he’s “won life’s lottery”, after a narrow escape from a falling boulder while paddleboarding.
Charles Lopez was in the ocean on the east side of the Rock of Gibraltar, near the Gorham’s Cave Complex, on Saturday morning (7 January 2023), when the boulder plummeted from the sky and snapped his board in two.
It was only after looking back at the footage he had captured that he realised what a close call he’d had.
Speaking to local news outlet GBC, Lopez says that he’d had no time to react. He adds that he didn’t see any indication it had been anything other than a natural rockfall.
James Garcia, of In2Adventures, told the outlet it was “quite unusual” to see a rockfall happen at sea, and he’d never heard of anyone experiencing it.
Lopez, who was with a friend at the time, says he doesn’t go out to sea alone as you “never know what might happen”. His friend helped him alert the crew of a small vessel that took him back to shore.
Local maths teacher and open-water swimmer Darren Grech reviewed Lopez’s footage and concluded that the rock was travelling at an estimated speed of 161km/h — a speed that could have been fatal.
Speaking from home, Lopez said he was “glad to be alive and kicking”.
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