Families at a popular Spanish beach were shocked yesterday when an inflatable raft carrying dozens of migrants from Northern Africa suddenly washed ashore. As can be seen in the following onlooker’s video, the migrants fled the boat before it reached dry land and ran inland in an effort to evade authorities.
According to the Daily Mail, the migrants arrived in Cadiz in Southern Spain and managed to disperse before being captured by police.
Footage shows the migrants leaping out of a black inflatable dinghy and dashing across the sand on beaches at Cadiz in southern Spain, after crossing the Strait of Gibraltar.
Carlos Sanz, who shot the video while on vacation in Cadiz, said the group quickly vanished and police only arrived some time later.
Local newspaper Diario De Cadiz reported that many of those on board quickly changed their clothing to evade the police, who carried out searches to apprehend the suspected illegal migrants. Many of the group were collected in vehicles after landing, according to the paper which could mean that those driving the vehicles could potentially face human trafficking charges if caught.
The incident comes as the International Organization for Migration warned on Thursday that Spain could overtake Greece this year in the number of migrants arriving by sea, using boats and even jet-skis.
According to the IOM’s latest figures, until August 6, close to 8,200 migrants had arrived in Spain so far this year.
That is more than triple the number who reached Spain at the same time last year, according to Joel Millman, a senior IOM spokesman, and already more than the total arrivals in 2016.
While the figure pales in comparison with arrivals in Italy – where more than 96,400 have landed so far this year – Spain is catching up with Greece where 11,713 have arrived by sea in the same timeframe.
‘It’s possible that Spain will outperform Greece this year,’ Millman told AFP.
‘If so, that’s a big change.’
The southern shores of Spain are roughly 20 miles from the north African coast.