Rescue services search for missing boat people

13th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

13 August 2004, MADRID - Rescue services were hunting for more than 30 people reported missing off the Canary Islands on Friday after a boatload of would-be illegal immigrants sank near Fuerteventura early in the morning.

13 August 2004

MADRID - Rescue services were hunting for more than 30 people reported missing off the Canary Islands on Friday after a boatload of would-be illegal immigrants sank near Fuerteventura early in the morning.

The warning was given by six survivors who were picked up by a Guardia Civil patrol boat near La Entallada lighthouse. The body of one woman was found floating in the water.

Like her, all the 32 people reported as missing were said to come from sub-Saharan Africa.

Their boat turned over when they all stood up on spotting the Guardia Civil boat and a marine rescue launch run by Salvamento Marítimo.

Air and sea rescue teams were carrying out a search of an 18 sq km area of ocean that is up to 600 metres deep and has strong currents towards the southwest said a Salvamento Maritimo spokesperson.

Another boat, which was travelling with the capsized one, managed to reach safely the dock at Gran Tajaral with 34 people on board.

In all, 76 would-be immigrants were taken into custody on Friday morning and two Moroccan boat owners as the summer wave of boat people looking for a new life continued.

Official figures up to 9 August show nearly 7,300 immigrants being detained on arrival on Spain, some 9.4 percent down on the same period last year.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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