At first glance, it looks like a clip from a Jerry Bruckheimer film – fun to watch, but more likely the product of a Hollywood studio than a real-life Russian beach scene. The footage looks pretty surreal, nevertheless it was a real thing.
Russian beachgoers were greeted with a big surprise when a military hovercraft suddenly splashed ashore.
Amateur footage shows stunned sunbathers relaxing in Mechnikovi, Kaliningrad, a military hovercraft weighing 500 tonnes pulled into the shore. People on the beach can be seen taking photos and filming the extraordinary sight before them.
The huge vessel powered past swimmers sending clouds of spray shooting up into the air as high as the 60m-long vessel itself.
It continued up the beach ignoring the hundreds of people who moments before had been happily enjoying the summer sunshine, before coming to a halt 50 feet inland. Russian paratroopers then jumped from the craft.
Incredibly, no one was hurt in the incident last weekend, although witnesses said beachgoers were surrounded by paratroopers and asked to move on.
According to the words of the Russian the Ministry of Defense, the amphibious hovercraft dubbed βBisonβ was reportedly conducting tactical measures, landing on a beach that belongs to the military.
The Bison-type vessel can transport 400 troops at a time and comes fully equipped with missile launchers. Actually, the vessel is equipped with missile launchers, automatic gun mounts and mine-laying devices, says the Independent.
The 550-tonne vessel was designed to land military forces in hostile territory and is capable of up to 110kmh. Also in the service of the Greek navy, it was the first Russian-build ship to be sold to a Nato country.
According to NPR, Russian officials were quick to issue a statement claiming the docking was routine and that nobody should have been on that beach.
As a a Russian defense ministry spokesman commented on the situation, it was just business as usual and, come to think of it, what were all those people doing there, anyway?
“Docking at the beach is a regular practice, what we don’t know is what people were doing at the beach, which is within the military firing range,” Andrey Bespaly of the Baltic Fleet Western military district told Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda.
“After the drill was over, the cordon was removed and the ship sailed back to its base,” Bespaly said.
However, an unapologetic Russian military said the beach was in the middle of a firing range and should have been empty.
The place called Khmelevka, where the military would usually conduct training, was a few kilometers away from this beach, according to the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda.
Those on the beach were reportedly visibly upset at being made to leave, with one visitor asking: “What are the reasons for such military activity on a Sunday?β according to Metro.
The hovercraft video is just the most recent in a growing list of rather odd user-generated videos from Russia that have come about largely thanks to the proliferation of dashboard cameras.