Four migrants have died just metres from the shore in Andalusia after being forced out of the boat they were travelling in, officials confirmed on Thursday.
The Spanish government’s press office in the province of Cádiz said 31 other people from the boat, including six children, survived the Wednesday afternoon incident and four were taken to a hospital.
The press office said 27 passengers were forced out by the vessel’s drivers near Camposoto beach, which is where the four died. Another eight were forced off close to Sancti Petri beach (Chiclana) after being threatened with a knife, it added.
A video shot by a man who works in the area showed migrants being pushed overboard from the boat and others in the choppy waters trying to swim to shore (see Tweet below). No more people died thanks to the intervention of the manager of a nearby windsurfing school, who reportedly rescued several people in a zodiac, together with his students.
The boat drivers sped off, the press office said. Police used drones to try to locate them but were not successful, the office said.
Officials said the migrants were from unspecified North African countries.
Tens of thousands of migrants from sub-Saharan countries try to reach Spain each year in large open boats launched from northwest Africa. Most go to the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, while others try to cross the Mediterranean Sea to mainland Spain. Several thousand are known to die making the hazardous journey. ALSO READ: 32,000 migrants have reached the Canary Islands this year, a new record.
🔴 #7TV #Inmigración ⚠️ Al menos 4 personas han fallecido tras la llegada de una patera a la playa de Camposoto de San Fernando.— 7TV San Fernando (@7TVSanFernando) November 29, 2023
La embarcación no ha llegado a tocar la arena de la playa isleña.
Informa: Paco López
📺 Más a las 20:00 en #Noticias7ProvinciadeCádiz pic.twitter.com/gC8Swio6iu