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'Storm victim' was in Spain

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16:49 CEST+02:00
A man originally feared to have drowned in the Stockholm archipelago in this week's storm has arrived home alive and well after spending a few days in sunny Spain, unbeknownst to his deeply concerned girlfriend.

Five boats, two helicopters and other light aircraft were all involved in the search on Wednesday for the 35-year-old man.

The man had told his girlfriend that he was taking his motor boat out into the archipelago for a few days. But as the storm clouds gathered on Monday she decided to give him a call on his mobile to ensure he had not run into any difficulties.

Failing to receive a reply, she got in touch with the police. As the search began, officials at the maritime rescue service concluded that the missing man's phone had either run out of battery or fallen into the water.

But when the police began to investigate the disappearance they realized that the search operation in the waters around Stockholm was unlikely to bear fruit.

"We reacted to the fact that he took out money in Nyköping the same day he was planning to leave. The next day he rented a car and registered at a hotel in Spain. Then today he paid for a taxi ride again back home in Sweden," police spokesman Bernt Malion told news agency TT.

Back in Sweden, the man finally got in touch with his family.

"He has made his presence known and said that everything is fine where he is. He doesn't seem to know there has been a storm at home here in Sweden," said Malion.

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