Over 1,000 migrants reached Spain by boat in first half of August

by Lorraine Williamson
migrants el hierro

According to Spanish newspaper Europa Press, over 1,000 migrants have already reached the coast of Spain by boat in the first two weeks of August. Most boats arrived in the Canary Islands, but also via Andalucia and the Balearic Islands. 

The number of migrants entering Spain illegally by sea has risen by 4% to 15,604 people so far in 2023. Furthermore, there is a notable increase in those who arrived on the mainland and the Balearic Islands. This is according to the latest Interior Ministry data accessed by Europa Press. 

Canary Islands

Lanzarote seems to be the island where most migrants arrived by sea. Between August 8 and 9 alone, 426, arrived in nine boats. As sources from rescue service Salvamento Marítimo reported, all these migrants were cared for in the port of Arrecife by health workers present in the area. 

On Friday 11 August, Salvamento Marítimo also rescued a total of 314 people off the coast of the Canary Islands aboard four boats.  Two were bound for Gran Canaria, one for Tenerife and one for El Hierro. 

The migrants were attended to by the medical team and two of them had to be taken to hospital. That same day, 56 migrants were found near Fuerteventura. Two days later, 111 migrants reached the Canary Islands. This included 53 in a dinghy 40 miles from Fuerteventura and 58 in a boat near Tenerife. Of the latter, 22 had to be taken to hospital, including one with a serious condition. 

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Motril and Almeria 

On Friday 11 August, 15 migrants of Maghreb origin arrived at the port of Motril (Granada). The men, two of whom were minors, had been rescued from a boat in the Alborán Sea. The Red Cross Immediate Emergency Response Team (ERIE) has already provided humanitarian assistance to 1,005 people transferred to the port of Granada this year after being rescued from a boat. That is more than in the whole of 2022, when there were 853. 

On 12 August, Maritime Rescue also rescued 16 North Africans from a boat, who were evacuated to the port of Almeria in apparently good health.  

Salvamento Marítimo rescued 12 adults and a minor, all of North African origin, from a boat early Tuesday morning. The boat was off the coast of Almería and had run out of fuel. 

Balearic Islands 

On Friday, two small boats with 27 migrants on board were also intercepted in the Balearic Islands, 23 of which arrived in Cabrera and 4 in Ibiza. 

 Also read: Migrants travel to Balearics and eastern Spain by boat

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