The two men were collecting sea snails and limpets from the rocks, which, believe it or not, are classified as a Monumento Natural Peñones de San Cristóbal de Almuñécar; thus a protected area.
The Guardia Civil confiscated their kilos of these mollusks and returned them to the sea. The snorkel diver was on the same errand and concentrating on the outer rock.
All three men were charged with entering protected natural area; one that the Guardia Civil are constantly checking, by the way.
A regional law governing environmental issues includes the Peñón del Santo and stipulates that you can only climb around the main rock along the narrow footpaths; i.e., you can’t scale the rock. Furthermore, it considers that access to the outer two rocks is not “compatible with their conservation” – they’re out of bounds.
Now, I have lived here for 35 years and had no idea that they were out of bounds – I have been on them myself many times in years gone past, (probably, long before this law came into effect) so I imagine that quite a few of our readers were not aware of this either.
Summing up, the outer rocks are no-go areas both above and below water, to climbers, swimmers and divers – you can’t even land their in a dinghy, for example.
(News: Almunecar, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)