Boat carrying 64 Immigrants arrives in Tenerife
March 12, 2009 Leave a comment
A boat carrying 64 migrants from Africa arrived on the Island of Tenerife, washing up on a beach without being detected by authorities, an official said Thursday 12th March 2009
The boat reached the beach late Wednesday 11th in the town of Granadilla de Abona on the island of Tenerife, a regional Interior Ministry official said. She spoke on condition of anonymity in line with ministry rules.
Tens of thousands of poor Africans risk their lives at sea each year in overcrowded boats, trying to reach the Canary Islands or the Spanish mainland in hopes of a better life.
Another boat carrying 65 people arrived on Tuesday 10th March on the island of El Hierro, and Maritime Rescue Service spokeswoman Maria Dolores Septien originally said 43 of them were minors. Such a high proportion of children is very rare.
But the official who spoke Thursday said that estimate was way off and in fact only 14 of the migrants are now believed to be minors, probably in their teens.
Large numbers of illegal immigrants from Senegal or Guinea arrive in the Canary Islands almost every week in search of a better life, packed in wooden fishing boats, many perish from dehydration or drowning. Last month twenty-four immigrants from North Africa, including 15 children and a pregnant woman, died when their boat capsized just offshore from the island of Tenerife.