Immigrants saved, in the nick of time

IT has been a decade since the Canary Islands went to the aid of a wooden boat, known as a patera, carrying a large number of immigrants.

However, that changed last Sunday when 152 Senegalese, who had travelled across the Atlantic over a six-day period, were rescued. And, despite their lack of water or food, the majority seemed relativity healthy when saved in Gran Canaria waters.

Many of the travellers told Red Cross volunteers that their boat had departed from Senigal capital Dakar, some days earlier.

But they all felt their luck had run out because the boat had started to drift, and they were running out of food and water.

They realised just how fortunate they were when they spotted the rescue ship on the horizon. It was perfect timing as some of the boat people were already losing it, and becoming nervous, because of their precarious situation.

Red Cross President Gerardo Mesa, based in Gran Canaria’s Arguineguin harbour, agreed that luck had been on their side when they were picked up by the Talia Maritime ship.

The patera, which later sunk, had only a small motor, which would not have been sufficient enough for the entire journey.

The Canary Islands hadn’t received this volume of immigrants in one boat since 2008.

Figures recorded by the Guardia Civil show that almost 32,000 people arrived on the islands by sea in 2006, 12,478 in 2007 and 9,181 in 2008

And, over the past few months, various wooden boats have left the African coast, only to intercepted by maritime lifeguards.

Of the 152 people rescued, just three were woman, and the Red Cross believe there were also 31 female minors in the group.

And despite most of the immigrants being in relatively good health, three people needed hospital treatment.



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Posted by on Jun 21 2018. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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