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93 African immigrants rescued off Spanish islands

Posted by By Sun News Publishing on 2005/08/17 | Views: 221 |

93 African immigrants rescued off Spanish islands


Ninety-three Europe-bound African immigrants were rescued from imminent death Tuesday by Spanish Maritime Rescue Service when their fishing boat that had been drifting for about two months was spotted near Spain’s Canary Islands.

Ninety-three Europe-bound African immigrants were rescued from imminent death Tuesday by Spanish Maritime Rescue Service when their fishing boat that had been drifting for about two months was spotted near Spain’s Canary Islands.

The rescue forces towed the vessel with the immigrants, many of them seriously ill and dehydrated, to the Los Cristianos port in the southern part of the island of Tenerife, approximately 200 miles off the coast of northwest Africa.

Agency reports based on testimony from the passengers, most of whom were from Cote d’Ivoire, indicated that at least two of those aboard had died, but doctors who gained access to the vessel found no cadavers.

"In the end no bodies were found on board, but they could have been thrown into the ocean," a spokesperson for the police in Tenerife told AFP by telephone, adding that "we must now gather witness testimony to confirm."

The drifting boat had been spotted by maritime rescue services overnight Monday and local officials said the vessel was in very poor condition. Jose Segura, a spokesperson for the local prefect, told Spanish press in Tenerife that the boat had been found with neither motor nor oars, and with no food or water on board.

According to Segura, most of the 95 passengers were from the Cote d’Ivoire, although two individuals brought in for questioning said they were from Cape Verde. With the exception of one woman and two children aged one and 10, the rest of the passengers were men.

Doctors confirmed that many of the passengers appeared to be suffering from dehydration, but said no cases of "extreme gravity" had been immediately discovered. Earlier reports from the local government office in Santa Cruz de Tenerife indicated that 68 of the passengers were ill, about 30 of them in serious condition.

The boat was the fourth carrying a large number of clandestine immigrants to arrive in the Canary Islands since 2002.

In December 2002, authorities intercepted a Honduran-flagged vessel carrying 243 passengers from Senegal. The vessel was discovered in the Canary Islands, where it had stopped to restock while on its way to Greece. Illegal immigrants regularly arrive in the Canary Islands in small wooden boats called "pateras" that carry a maximum of 50 passengers

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown