the olive press
Spain's best English daily news website
Monday, December 22, 2014
Subscribe: RSS or Email

Families squeeze into toy dinghies to come to Europe from Africa

PUBLISHED: December 10, 2012 at 12:52 pm  •  LAST EDITED: December 10, 2012 at 12:52 pm
Andalucia, Lead  •  0 Comments

Families squeeze into toy dinghies to come to Europe from Africa

• Africans await rescue from an inflatable dinghy off the coast of Spain

Do you have news for us?
Click to contact the newsdesk!

By Frances Leate

Africans hoping for a better life in Europe are using cheap inflatable dinghies with plastic oars to get to Spain.

In the first week of December, 160 immigrants had to be rescued by Spanish coastguards while crossing the straits of Gibraltar on what rescuers have described as “toy dinghies”.

The 20 mile journey separating Morocco and Spain has been undertaken by scores of people, including children and babies just a few months old in the cheap plastic boats.

Rescuers say the toy boats are being used to avoid paying the €930 a head charged by people smugglers.

A Red Cross worker who has helped in several rescue mission, said: “It breaks your heart to see children being out in such danger.”

Spanish coastguards have also spotted brightly coloured recreational dinghies without occupants and it is believed that some immigrants are run down by big ships at night.

Bodies often wash up onSpain’s beaches while tourists sunbathe.

Since the beginning of 2012, the number of north Africans that have been rescued from the strait by the Spanish has more than doubled to 1,172 to 520 in 2011.

There are also countless others making the journey from different parts ofAfrica, hoping to reach a port in the European Union.



Did you like this? Share it:

Reader Comments »

The views expressed in the comments above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Olive Press.

Messages will be moderated or deleted if they:
• Are considered likely to disrupt, provoke, attack or offend others
• Are racist, sexist, homophobic, sexually explicit, abusive or otherwise objectionable
• Contain swear words or other language likely to offend
• Break the law or condone or encourage unlawful activity. This includes breach of copyright, defamation and contempt of court
• Advertise products or services for profit or gain
• Are seen to impersonate someone else
• Include contact details such as phone numbers, postal or email addresses
• Describe or encourage activities which could endanger the safety or well-being of others
• If you have a complaint about a comment please email [email protected]

 Back to the Top

Read Our Latest Print Edition »

Read More Olive Press Back Issues Online »