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Police Helicopter Rescues Man Who Attempted To Walk From France To Spain To Buy Cigarettes During Lockdown

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Police Helicopter Rescues Man Who Attempted To Walk From France To Spain To Buy Cigarettes During Lockdown

A man had to be rescued by police helicopter in the Pyrenees mountain range after he attempted to walk from France to Spain for non-essential purposes, completely disregarding lockdown rules.

French media reports the man crossed the border in search of cheap cigarettes, although French police have not confirmed this.

According to the French Pyrenees High Mountain Police, the man, who has not been named, was an 'exhausted very cold and lost individual' who had to be picked up near Le Perthus.

Credit: PGHM des Pyrénées-Orientales
Credit: PGHM des Pyrénées-Orientales
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The fella had first been caught by cops on Saturday (4 April) when he was found driving from his home in Perpignan on the French coast to the La Jonquera in Catalonia, where cigs are cheaper.

However, he didn't make it very far and was stopped at a checkpoint and sent back home.

Undeterred, the man then attempted to walk instead - hiking along a footpath in the Pyrenees.

Police said the man later became lost and fell into a creek before stumbling into a bramble bush.

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Cold and disoriented, the man then seemingly gave up and called rescuers to come and help him.

He was found by helicopter and airlifted to a security facility in Perpignan. He has since been slapped with a fine of €135 (£120) for non-compliance of lockdown measures.

In a statement, the French Pyrenees High Mountain Police said: "Looks like the [lockdown] message didn't get through properly.

"We took part in a rescue with a helicopter from Perpignan in order to go get an exhausted, very cold and lost individual off the heights above Le Perthus.

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Credit: PGHM des Pyrénées-Orientales
Credit: PGHM des Pyrénées-Orientales

"This young man, left Perpignan by car, was sent back by the control stations between France and Spain when he wanted to go to Le Jonquera.

"He then decided to take a hiking path, hoping to cross the border through the mountain.

"He fell into a creek, got out again, got lost and then ended up contacting mountain rescue with an SOS using his phone."

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The used the statement to once again urge residents to stay at home during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

It's okay to not panic. LADbible and UNILAD's aim with our series, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we're facing. For more information from the World Health Organisation on coronavirus, click here.

Featured Image Credit: PGHM des Pyrénées-Orientales

Topics: World News, Coronavirus

Claire Reid
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