Migrants drown off Almeria coast in Spain after being forced to swim to shore by boat captains

TWO people died on Friday as migrant boat captains forced their passengers to swim to the Almeria shore so that they could flee back to sea quickly to minimise the risk of being arrested.

Two boats with 137 migrants, including at least three children, were near Adra when everybody was ordered to complete the final stage of their already dangerous journey under their own steam.

The Guardia Civil and Cruz Roja attended to the migrants once they had arrived on Alcazaba de Adra beach at around 7.00am and transferred them to the port of Almeria.

Besides two confirmed deaths, another person was taken to hospital to be treated for severe hypothermia.

The Maritime Rescue Service swept the area by boat and helicopter to see if anybody else had drowned.

It has not been disclosed where the migrants came from but the normal departure countries tend to be Algeria or Morocco with fares of up €5,000 per head charged by criminal gangs for the perilous trip.

At least 3,672 people reached the Spanish mainland and the Balearic Islands between January 1 and May 31 this year, according to government figures- a 30% rise compared with the same period in 2022.


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