Four migrants have died meters (yards) from shore in southern Spain after being forced out of the boat they were traveling in, officials said Thursday.
The Spanish government press office in the southern province of Cádiz said 31 other people from the boat, including six children, survived the Wednesday afternoon incident and four were taken to a hospital.
The press office said 27 passengers were forced out by the vessel’s drivers near Camposoto beach, which is where the four died. Another eight were forced off close to another beach, it added.
A video shot by a man who works in the area showed migrants being pushed overboard from the boat and others in the choppy waters trying to swim to shore.
Javier González, who runs a nautical company, said he and his son managed to rescue eight migrants. He said that they and other workers helped the migrants on the beach.
In a telephone message to the Associated Press, he said no police or marine rescue workers took part in in the initial rescue. The boat drivers sped off in the boat, the press office said.
Police using drones, tried to locate it but were not successful, the office said. Officials said the migrants were from unspecified North African countries.
Tens of thousands of migrants from sub-Saharan countries try to reach Spain each year in large open boats launched from northwest Africa.
Most go to the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, while others try to cross the Mediterranean Sea to mainland Spain.
Several thousand are known to die making the hazardous journey. This year, more than 2,500 migrants died or went missing while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to get to Europe, according to the UN’s International Organization for Migration.
Source : Africanews