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Search for missing boat

Published on 29/06/2004

29 June 2004

MOTRIL — An air-sea search was underway Tuesday after a boat believed to be carrying about 50 illegal immigrants disappeared off the coast of Andalusia.

The search was being conducted between Cabo de Gata and Motril, a stretch of the Andalusian coast between Malaga and Almeria.

Two helicopters, an army plane and units of the Maritime Rescue were searching the 25-km stretch of sea.

The search started late Monday after the Guardia Civil received a call from a man with a North African accent who said a boat with 50 people was off the coast of Motril.

Coastguards intercepted another boat carrying 28 illegal immigrants the same night.

The ‘pateras’ or small boats full of illegal immigrants arrive from Northern Africa on an almost daily basis to the coasts of Andalusia and the Canary Islands.

The desperate would-be immigrants pay cash to people smugglers to bring them to Spain.

But often the boats get into trouble in heavy seas and their human cargo is lost.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news