The early bird catches... a £115 fine! Tourist forced to pay a penalty for saving a spot on a beach with his umbrella

  • The man from Madrid had set up parasol on El Cura beach in Costa Blanca
  • But officials saw it unattended and removed it, writing out a €150 fine
  • The council claims reserving space disrupts the morning cleaning process
  • But tourist alleges he was there, and had just gone for swim in the sea 

A tourist has been fined €150 (£115) after using beach furniture to reserve a spot on the Spanish sand.

In the first penalty of its kind in Spain, the man believed to be from Madrid, had headed to El Cura beach in Torrevieja, Costa Blanca early in the morning and planted an umbrella in the sand.

However, local officials deemed the beach goer's actions as a disruption to the 'urban cleaning' of public areas, and issued the fine - despite the holidaymaker saying he was still at the beach and had just gone for a swim in the sea when they discovered his unattended parasol.

A man from Madrid set up his parasol early one morning on the beach - but was then fined as it disrupted the cleaning process

A man from Madrid set up his parasol early one morning on the beach - but was then fined as it disrupted the cleaning process

The incident happened back in September 2015, and now, almost nine months later, the city council has said that planting a parasol in the sand 'contravenes one municipal ordinance that seeks to avoid the reservation of space.'

The man alleged that he had gone for a swim at the time when beach patrols noticed the umbrella in the sand. They proceeded to remove it and write out a fine.

The tourist had lodged a complaint against the fine, but has now been told it has to be paid. 

The incident was reported by Spanish news website cadenaser.com, who said that such measures are in place to avoid 'the exclusive use of areas on beaches'. 

Holidaymakers in Torrevieja are not allowed to use beach furniture such as umbrellas and seats in the early hours of the morning

Holidaymakers in Torrevieja are not allowed to use beach furniture such as umbrellas and seats in the early hours of the morning

The Local.es reports that 'between 3am and 8am, the use of beach furniture like umbrellas, seats or towels to reserve space is prohibited'. 

The mayor of beaches, Javier Manzanares, told El Mundo: 'People who live in Torrevieja know that there are people who, at 5.30am, place an umbrella on the beach and go.

'This is dangerous and difficult for tasks such as cleaning the beach, which goes on until 6am.'

The comments below have not been moderated.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now