A BRITISH holidaymaker has drowned after becoming separated from his friends during a night out in a Costa del Sol holiday resort.
Andrew Wallace, 54, from Bolton, was found dead hours after he vanished when a local went to get his boat to go out sailing.
His holiday friends had already reported him missing at a police station near the hotel they were staying at in Benalmadena.
A routine probe has been launched by a local investigating judge but sources close to the case say there is nothing pointing to anything suspicious and the Brit’s death is believed to be the result of a tragic accident.
Mr Wallace was found floating in the water at Benalmadena Marina, one of the most important marinas along the Costa del Sol which is lined with many popular restaurants and late-night bars.
The alarm was raised on Saturday morning, several hours after his disappearance during a night out with friends he had flown to Spain with.
The group were due to jet back to Britain on Sunday and he is thought to have already been reported missing by his worried friends by the time his body was discovered.
An autopsy revealed he had injuries to his chest and arms where he is believed to have tried to make a desperate attempt to climb out of the water in the area where he fell.
Confirmation he was British emerged late on Tuesday.
His loved ones including his son Ainsley and a Manchester-based daughter, are already understood to have flown to Spain to arrange the repatriation of his body.
One well-wisher said in a poignant social media message “Sorry about your dad mate. He was one in a million.”
Really can’t believe it. Rest in peace Andy Wallace. He was such a great man. Will truly be missed. Thinking of you at this sad time
Friend Scott Cayden Dean added: “What a top guy he was. Rest in peace Andy.”
Alisha Pardon wrote in a message to his loved ones: “Really can’t believe it. Rest in peace Andy Wallace. He was such a great man. Will truly be missed. Thinking of you at this sad time.”
Jade Glendening said: “Rest in peace Andy Wallace. Lovely man. Sending lots of love to the family.”
A well-placed Spanish source said: “The dead man was with a group of friends who were staying together in a hotel and went out on Friday night.
“It appears he became separated from the rest of the group at one point and when they couldn’t find him they reported him missing because they were due to fly back home on the Sunday and obviously became concerned for his wellbeing.”
Another insider added: “We suspect he became disorientated after becoming separated from the group he was with and fell into the water and drowned in a tragic accident.
“His body was discovered the following morning.
“He fell into the water in a part of the marina which is fairly high above the sea and that made would have made it very difficult for him to reach safety.”
Police could not be reached this morning for an official comment, although authorities in Spain usually steer clear of putting out any official statements where they believe a death is not the result of a crime.
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