Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Dozens of migrants disembark on Spanish beach in front of shocked tourists

Dozens of migrants disembark on Spanish beach in front of shocked tourists

Three times as many migrants have arrived so far in 2017 as the amount who had arrived in the same period previous year.

Footage taken by a beachgoer shows a small boat full of people landing at a popular tourist beach in Spain's southern Cadiz province.

African migrants are seeking a cheaper and easier path to Europe with a rising number setting sail for Spain from Morocco using toy dinghies and jetskis, migration experts said on Thursday.

IOM spokesman Joel Millman said he believes that migrants taking the long route towards Italy via the Sahara and Libya - many of whom are from West Africa - are now choosing to take the "safer" coastal route through Morocco.

"It's possible that Spain will outperform Greece this year", Millman told AFP.

Putting the situation in perspective, the IOM says that since the beginning of 2015, more than 1 million migrants have gone to Greece, 430,000 to Italy, and just 29,000 to Spain.

Spain may soon overtake Greece in the number of migrants arriving on its shores by sea this year, the BBC reported Friday.

"If so, that's a big change". The country has to be prepared for an increase of arrivals, increase of asylum-seekers.

Faced with the danger, some may be deciding to go up along the coast instead.

The migrants either make it to the Spanish coast or are intercepted in the Mediterranean Sea by Spain's marine rescue service and then taken ashore.

"It's unpredictable, but we have to prepare for an intense few months of arrivals given the good weather", Inigo Vila, head of the organization's emergency unit, said. "And others are fine and recover quickly", he said.

On Tuesday, Spanish police found 30 Moroccan and Algerian migrants, ten of which were children, hidden in fairground vehicles in the enclave city.

Faced with the number of recent entry attempts, authorities in Ceuta have made a decision to close the border for trade for over a week, to allow guards to better man the fence.

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