11 illegal immigrants were detained in Torrevieja on Thursday after managing to reach Cala Ferris in an inflatable zodiac dinghy with motorised engine.
At the end of Ramadam there is always a fresh wave of hopefuls trying to make a new life in Spain and 5 boats were picked up off the Cartagena coastline on Wednesday a little further along the coastline in the neighbouring Murcia Region.
It’s rare for the people smugglers to choose this route as the distance to reach the Spanish coastline is greater, along with the risk: Andalucía being the region of Spain which is targeted normally as a destination as the distance is so much shorter.
This area of coastline is protected by a system known as SIVE, which combines radar, spotter planes and patrols to check on marine traffic off our coastline. Any suspicious movement is relayed to a patrol vessel, and sightings are attended by marine rescue and Guardia Civil as well as the search helicopters used by coastal rescue services.
In this case the SIVE system detected the boat near to the coastline and Guardia Civíl were sent to the beaches most likely to be chosen for a landing.
Nine of those on board assured police they were Algerians and the remainder, Moroccans. Three claimed to be minors.
All were checked over by Cruz Roja before being taken to an immigrant transit centre where attempts will be made to repatriate them to their country of origin.
Only around half of those who reach Spanish soil are successfully repatriated, as it is often impossible to prove the origin of those who cross the water. Those who cannot be repatriated have to be released and join the thousands with no work papers and no passports, who have no visible means of supporting themselves and disappear off into Europe.
Some of these immigrants have friends and family in Europe already, while others wander in search of work, some of them joining the thousands waiting in Calais for their chance to try and enter the UK.
Image: Cruz Roja attending newly arrived immigrants. archive
All Text and Images are Subject to Copyright