Bewildered Tourists Watch Migrant Boat Land on Spanish Resort Beach

Boatload of migrants stun Spanish sunbathers
Dozens of migrants disembark on Spanish beach in front of shocked tourists
Author

13 August, 2017

Nearly as many migrants have arrived in Spain so far this year as came to the country throughout 2016, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The incident took place at the border crossing between Morocco and Spain's North African enclave of Ceuta, according to the Daily Mail.

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

On Thursday morning, Spanish coastguards said they had rescued 10 men from sub-Saharan Africa in a rickety boat off Tarifa in southern Spain.

Though that figure is still far off the number that have arrived in Italy in the same period - the IOM estimates that 93,357 arrived on the "Central Mediterranean Route" - it is a dramatic increase over 2016, when 2,476 arrived in the first half of the year.

In contrast, some 13,200 migrants came to Greece this year - more than 11,700 of whom arrived by sea - down from 176,906 in total the previous year. 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.

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

Spokesman Manuel Gonzalez told AFP that while they did not have any ID on them, they were thought to be from Morocco.

By the time authorities had arrived, the group had dispersed and left the beach.

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

The migrants were eventually rounded up and taken to a reception centre, where they can apply for asylum in Spain.

Ceuta and Melilla have the EU's only land borders with Africa, and as a result, they are entry points for people desperate to get to Europe.


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