Zarautz: a surf tragedy in the Basque Country | Photo: EFE

Two beginner surfers have lost their lives in Zarautz Beach, Basque Country, Spain.

Brothers Javier and Andrés Guibert, 44 and 46, were learning to surf in severe maritime conditions, in a dangerous rip current area with large waves.

Surf instructors from local surf schools were able to rescue both men, but when they reached the shore, there was nothing else to do. When the ambulance arrived, Javier and Andrés were declared dead.

"It has been a terrible experience. The surfers who tried to save them got them out, but there was nothing they could do for their lives. It is a tragedy," the local surf instructors explained.

"They have entered the water in the worst part of the beach, and with the worst ocean conditions. The instructors who rescued them are experts, but they also had problems getting back to shore because that place is dangerous, and the waves were too big to surf."

Apparently, one of the surfers broke his leash and lost the connection with the surfboard. His brother was simply swallowed by the heavy surf.

Are you a beginner surfer? Learn basic tips for novice wave riders, and how to avoid and survive rip currents. Remember never to paddle out alone, especially in heavy surf days.

It is one of the sport's most forgotten disciplines. The stand-up bodyboarding movement had its heyday between the late 1980s and early 1990s, but it continues to be an exquisite art.

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