Bewildered Tourists Watch Migrant Boat Land on Spanish Resort Beach

13 August, 2017, 00:35 | Author: Darrell Baldwin
  • Spanish beach

BEACHGOERS got a surprise on Wednesday when a rubber dinghy full of migrants arrived on a Cadiz beach.

A video taken by a shocked tourist shows the boat coming up behind a man and a child having a swim in the sea. The people inside can then be seen disembarking and running up the beach.

One person can be heard asking: 'What's going on?'

Carlos Sanz, who was on the beach, said the group quickly vanished and the police only arrived some time later.

Spanish officials couldn't immediately be reached after office hours.

According to data compiled by the International Organization for Migration, between the start of the year and July 16, 7,389 migrants had arrived in Spain on what is known as the "Western Mediterranean Route".

Some 11,849 people have arrived in Spain so far this year, compared to 13,246 in all of last year, the IOM says.

That is more than triple the number who reached Spain at the same time previous year, according to Joel Millman, a senior IOM spokesman, and already more than the total arrivals in 2016.

Over the past few years, migrants from North Africa and the Middle East have tended to go from Libya to Italy or through Turkey to Greece.

"If so, that's a big change". The migrants in Spain most often have no identification and are usually young males from Morocco, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Ivory Coast and a handful of other West African countries, according to quotes by police.

The shift may be because migrants are finding the Spanish route safer.

He added that the boats crossing the short but choppy sea to Spain were much smaller than those launching from Libya to Italy.

In Libya there 'appears to be a very deliberate strategy to put people out there, in overloaded boats that begin to take on water nearly immediately and then it's a race to see how quickly the people on the boat can summon aid, ' he said.

"Whereas in Spain, the strategy is smaller craft hoping to come in undetected, and undoubtedly some do".

In the early hours of Monday morning, almost 200 sub-Saharan Africans managed to reach Spanish soil after storming a border crossing between Morocco and Spain's North African enclave of Ceuta opposite Gibraltar.

Footage showed hundreds of people rushing through the El Tarajal border post in the border town of Ceuta.

A border guard suffered a broken leg after attempting to stop African migrants from breaking through a security gate in the Spanish city of Ceuta.

Both the IOM and the Spanish Red Cross say Spain is well-equipped to manage the new influx despite complaints from some groups that the country's temporary accommodations for migrants already are filled to capacity.

Faced with the number of recent entry attempts, authorities in Ceuta have chose to close the border for trade for over a week, to allow guards to better man the fence. Pedestrian and passenger vehicles were still allowed.

Ceuta and Melilla are today the main entry points to Spain for illegal migrants, 90% of whom are men, mainly from sub-Sahara.

More than 1,700 have been rescued from the water so far this year, with the month of June alone seeing more than 900.

At about 5am on Monday, 186 migrants stormed the border and reached European Union soil.


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