SHARE
Advertisement

By Jon Nazca
TARIFA, Spain (Reuters)

More than 30 illegal migrants, pursued by a police boat, landed their packed dinghy on a Spanish beach on Friday then scattered into the surrounding sand dunes and woodland

Video footage showed the migrants, mostly young men, throwing their life-jackets overboard as they approached the shore and jumping onto the beach as sunbathers looked on.

 

Moroccan migrants disembark from a dinghy at "Del Canuelo" beach after they crossed the Strait of Gibraltar sailing from the coast of Morocco, in Tarifa
Migrants disembark from a dinghy at Del Canuelo beach after they crossed the Strait of Gibraltar, in Tarifa, sourthern Spain.
REUTERS/Jon Nazca

 

The migrants landed on a beach near Tarifa after crossing the Strait of Gibraltar – the narrow body of water separating Morocco from mainland Europe that has become a key route for migrants.

Overall, numbers of migrants reaching Europe are way down from the peak in 2015 – 55,000 migrants have reached the continent’s shores this year, fewer than half the amount the same time last year, according to the U.N. migration agency.

 

Spanish Civil Guards try to stop migrants before disembarking from a dinghy at "Del Canuelo" beach after they crossed the Strait of Gibraltar sailing from the coast of Morocco, in Tarifa
Spanish Civil Guards try to stop migrants before disembarking from a dinghy at Del Canuelo beach after they crossed the Strait of Gibraltar sailing from the coast of Morocco, in Tarifa, southern Spain, July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

 

But Spain has recently overtaken Italy as the preferred destination and seen 17,000 migrants arrive so far this year – twice the number at the same point in 2017, according to interior ministry figures.

Arrivals by sea have risen in recent weeks thanks to calm seas.

 

 

More than 600 African migrants forced their way through the heavily fortified border fence separating the Spanish North African enclave of Ceuta from Morocco on Thursday, using circular saws, shears and mallets to cut through the wire.

 

(Writing By Sonya Dowsett; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

 

A migrant child, intercepted aboard a dinghy off the coast in the Strait of Gibraltar, plays as he rests in a makeshift emergency building after arriving on a rescue boat at the port of Barbate
A migrant child, intercepted aboard a dinghy off the coast in the Strait of Gibraltar, plays as he rests in a makeshift emergency building after arriving on a rescue boat at the port of Barbate, southern Spain, July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

 

A Spanish civil guard throws up a rope to migrants as they try to stop them before disembarking from a dinghy at "Del Canuelo" beach after they crossed the Strait of Gibraltar sailing from the coast of Morocco, in Tarifa
A Spanish civil guard throws up a rope migrants as they try to stop them before disembarking from a dinghy at “Del Canuelo” beach after they crossed the Strait of Gibraltar sailing from the coast of Morocco, in Tarifa, southern Spain, July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

 

Spanish civil guards try to stop to moroccan migrants before disembarking from a dinghy at "Del Canuelo" beach after they crossed the Strait of Gibraltar sailing from the coast of Morocco, in Tarifa
Spanish civil guards try to stop migrants from disembarking from a dinghy at Del Canuelo beach in Tarifa, southern Spain.
REUTERS/Stringer

 

Migrants are seen before disembarking from a dinghy at "Del Canuelo" beach after they crossed the Strait of Gibraltar sailing from the coast of Morocco
Migrants are seen before disembarking from a dinghy at “Del Canuelo” beach after they crossed the Strait of Gibraltar sailing from the coast of Morocco, in Tarifa, southern Spain, July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

 

Migrants, intercepted aboard dinghies off the coast in the Strait of Gibraltar rest in a makeshift emergency building after arriving on a rescue boat at the port of Barbate
Migrants, intercepted aboard dinghies off the coast in the Strait of Gibraltar rest in a makeshift emergency building after arriving on a rescue boat at the port of Barbate, southern Spain, July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Jon Nazca

 

Migrants, intercepted aboard dinghies off the coast in the Strait of Gibraltar, rest in a makeshift emergency building after arriving on a rescue boat at the port of Barbate
Migrants, intercepted aboard dinghies off the coast in the Strait of Gibraltar, rest in a makeshift emergency building after arriving on a rescue boat at the port of Barbate, southern Spain, July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Jon Nazca

 

Migrants are seen on a dinghy as they cross the Strait of Gibraltar sailing from the coast of Morocco before disembarking at Del Canuelo beach in Tarifa
Migrants are seen on a dinghy as they cross the Strait of Gibraltar sailing from the coast of Morocco before disembarking at Del Canuelo beach in Tarifa, sourthern Spain. REUTERS/Jon Nazca

 

Migrants are seen before disembarking from a dinghy at Del Canuelo beach as they cross the Strait of Gibraltar sailing from the coast of Morocco, in Tarifa
Migrants are seen before disembarking from a dinghy at Del Canuelo beach as they cross the Strait of Gibraltar sailing from the coast of Morocco, in Tarifa, southern Spain, July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

 

Migrants disembark from a dinghy at Del Canuelo beach after they crossed the Strait of Gibraltar, in Tarifa
Migrants disembark from a dinghy at Del Canuelo beach after they crossed the Strait of Gibraltar, in Tarifa, sourthern Spain. REUTERS/Jon Nazca

 

Spanish civil guards try to stop to migrants before disembarking from a dinghy at "Del Canuelo" beach after they crossed the Strait of Gibraltar sailing from the coast of Morocco, in Tarifa
Spanish civil guards try to stop migrants before disembarking from a dinghy at “Del Canuelo” beach after they crossed the Strait of Gibraltar sailing from the coast of Morocco, in Tarifa, sourthern Spain, July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer