POLICIA LOCAL officers in Javea arrested a French man last Monday as he tried to steal an ancient amphora from the seabed of the Portixol.
It was around 5.30pm when officers monitoring the bathing area noticed what looked like a white buoy surface quickly with something attached to it.
The white buoy proved to be a lifting bag – an item of diving equipment consisting of a robust and air-tight bag with straps, which is used to lift heavy objects underwater by means of the bag’s buoyancy.
The Grupo Especial de Actividades Subacuaticas (GEAS) of the Guardia Civil, the unit in charge the location and recovery of objects in the aquatic environment, among other missions attended the scene, along with the municipal architect who confirmed that the amphora – a tall jar or jug with two handles and a narrow neck – was authentic and of African origin, from the III or IV century.
The thief was taken to Javea Port, where he was arrested and his equipment, including bottles of nitrox, GPS devices and even his boat was confiscated.
The GEAS unit are planning a dive in the Portixol to determine whether there are more archaeological remains.