A total of 27 overcrowded toy boats carrying 334 migrants, mostly sub-Saharan Africans, were intercepted off the coast of the province of Cádiz yesterday (Tuesday), and their occupants – who have all survived – were taken to Barbate, Tarifa and Algeciras.
Due to lack of space, with dozens or even hundreds of migrants arriving by the day, about 200 of them had to spend the night on a lifeboat and others were taken to the Andrés Mateo sports centre in Algeciras’ El Saladillo neighbourhood.
Those given beds in the leisure centre were ‘priority’ cases, such as children and pregnant women.
Another boat carrying 35 sub-Saharan Africans, two of whom are women, also reached Spain safely yesterday after they were spotted by emergency services near Alborán Island, about halfway between the province of Almería and the Spanish-owned enclave of Melilla on the northern Moroccan coast.
They were taken to the port of Motril (Granada province) and attended to by the Red Cross.
Later, the coastguard rescued a further 115 migrants, 22 of whom were women, crammed onto two boats near Alborán Island, and hours afterwards, 42 men and 16 women on a third raft were saved in the same area, followed by a fourth carrying 51 men and six women.
These four boatloads were taken to Málaga port and given hot drinks, food, blankets and medical check-ups.
Yesterday’s 484 Africans are in addition to another 1,000 rescued at the weekend.