JO - 308 Africans aboard 3 boats arrive in Canary Islands
308 Africans aboard 3 boats arrive in Canary Islands
Monday, August 07, 2006
TENERIFE, Spain (AP) - Three boats arrived in the Canary Islands yesterday carrying 308 would-be immigrants, officials said.
The first vessel to arrive, just after midnight, highlighted a stark clash of two worlds, as 97 African migrants carrying virtually no possessions scrambled up a beach where tourists were spending a warm night by the seaside.
Beach-goers offered clothes and first aid to the first group, which landed on the southern El Confital beach, near resorts Los Cristianos and Playa Las Americas.
A second boat, carrying 104 migrants, was then towed to port at Los Cristianos by a rescue vessel, while a third was escorted into port at La Gomera island, where three migrants were taken to hospital for hypothermia.
Thousands of people try to reach Europe through Spain each year, with an increasing number of them setting off from Mauritania and Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara.Many die during the dangerous crossing. Those who are intercepted are kept in holding centres. Authorities then have 40 days to repatriate or release them.In July, 12 Sub-Saharan Africans were found dead aboard boats heading to the Canary Islands.