COLUMN: When Holidays to Spain Go Wrong
Updated: May 8
This column first appeared at euroweeklynews.com on 19 January 2023.
Some 18 million Britons visit Spain every year – the vast majority have a great holiday – a break from the routine and home, but some go very wrong and a holiday in the sun quickly turns into a seeming nightmare with no escape.
One such incident happened just a few weeks ago.
A family with two teenage children took their first overseas holiday since before the pandemic with an all-inclusive holiday package of accommodation, meals and flights – they used their modest savings to treat themselves – the father was about to start work after a long absence.
It was all looking perfect.
What they didn't know was that their thirteen year old daughter had been "chatting" with a "friend" who turned it out was a man in his forties who had traveled from America to meet her.
On the first night the daughter left to go for a walk along the beach alone.
She didn't return.
The anguish of the parents can only be imagined as they went from bar to bar, street to street and combed every beach to find their daughter.
The police were called and the search widened to cover the whole region with a priority one investigation.
In the early hours of the morning the civil guard had tracked their daughter with a man to an apartment close by.
He was arrested and the daughter taken to hospital.
The relief of the parents was short lived after the truth that she had met him voluntarily.
And the law was about to kick in.
The presiding judge ordered the parents to court along with their daughter.
The consulate did all they could to help them in their distress but they had no choice but to appear in court – which they did.
However by doing they would be missing their return flight and had barely enough means to feed themselves let along pay for additional accommodation.
Working with the consular offices the BBF paid for this and their flight back to the UK.
The man remains in custody awaiting trial.
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