German tourist dies in Mallorca after being swept into sea by 'large wave'

Jon Sharman

A German tourist has reportedly died after he was swept into the sea by a large wave in Mallorca, following a series of mini-tsunamis that struck the Spanish island.

The man, in his 50s, was hit by the wave after descending stairs to sea level near Portopetro with his family. He was dragged into the sea along with his young son and daughter.

The children’s mother was able to grab the girl and bystanders in a canoe pulled the boy and his father from the water, according to the Diario de Mallorca newspaper.

Resuscitation attempts over the course of 20 minutes failed to revive the man. Authorities are now investigating.

Spanish media stopped short of directly linking the German man’s death to a meteo-tsunami, or rissaga.

Meteo-tsunamis are caused by sudden drops in atmospheric pressure that affect sea level, and have characteristics similar to tsunamis generated by earthquakes, according to the US National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Programme.

They often last for a limited period of time, from several minutes to several hours.

The man was swept away around four hours after they hit Mallorca and Menorca and subsequently subsided.

The surges that struck this week topped 1m in Ciutadella, Menorca.

In Mallorca, boats came detached from their moorings and were dragged around by strong currents.