Imagine you're relaxing on the sand, soaking up some sun, when an enormous, 550-ton death machine roars into view.
Such was the scene at a Russian beach in Kaliningrad on Tuesday, when a military hovercraft was forced to make an emergency landing on the shore in front of hundreds of startled beach-goers. No injuries were reported.
The Russian defense ministry claims the 60-meter vessel was on a run-of-the-mill tactical mission, and — this part is weird — was in fact docking on military-owned property.
"Docking on the beach… is a normal event," a Russian defense ministry spokesman told the local newspaper. "What people were doing at the beach on the territory of a military (base) is unclear."
Sky News reports, however, that the military base the spokesman was referring to was likely Khmelevka, which is actually several miles away.
The hulking machine is said to be a Zubr-class hovercraft, which carries advanced military weaponry and can transport tanks — the scary kinds with turrets and treads — in addition to 400 paratroopers.
Exactly why the massive ship needed to abruptly beach itself in front of a bunch of half-naked sunbathers will probably remain a secret. Perhaps Vladimir Putin was aboard looking for whales to shoot at again, as he is wont to do.
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