(youtube) A huge military hovercraft has made an unexpected landing on a packed beach in Russia. Hundreds of people were sunbathing on the beach when the vessel powered towards them. No one was injured, although witnesses said beachgoers were surrounded by paratroopers and asked to move on. A spokesman for the Russian defence ministry told local newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda that the hovercraft was on a tactical mission in an area owned by the military. "Docking at the beach ... is a normal event," a spokesman was quoted as saying. "What people were doing at the beach on the territory of a military (base) is unclear." However, the newspaper said the base the ministry was referring to was in Khmelevka, several kilometres away.
The hovercraft is believed to have been one of the Russian Navy's Zubr-type crafts, which are built in St Petersburg and can travel at speeds of up to 60 knots (110kmh, 68mph). They weigh around 550 tonnes and measure nearly 60 metres in length. The vessels carry up to 500 troops and can be fitted with missile launchers, automatic gun mounts and equipment to lay mines.