In a little more than 48 hours the Province’s emergency services have attended the largest wave of immigrants recorded, having arrived in patera’s, 193 people, 92 of which were rescued in Cartagena waters but who were transferred to the port of Alicante last Sunday night.
The six boats intercepted on the coast of Alicante between Saturday and Sunday were joined on Monday by four more vessels containing a further 34 immigrants in Torrevieja, Guardamar, Benitatxell and Teulada-Moraira.
The latest arrivals bring the number to over two hundred as, on Tuesday morning, at around 07.20 hours, a further 8 landed from another boat in the Serra Gelada area while 5 who ran away were picked up by Local Police in Benidorm have been located in Benidorm.
Police are still searching for the occupants of yet another patera which is believed to have beches at la cala del Tío Ximo.
Red Cross volunteers, Maritime Rescue personnel and members of the Civil Guard and the National Police are working around the clock to process and accommodate the recent arrivals.
Among the almost 200 immigrants treated in Alicante since last Saturday there are at least 20 minors of Algerian origin who have already been taken to youth centres in the region.
The head of the Red Cross Maritime Rescue Agency in Alicante, Patricia Compañ, said that in the port of Alicante this is the first time that they have dealt with so many people in such a short period of time and indicated that many of the rescued who have attended had symptoms of hypothermia or hypoglycaemia, low levels of blood sugar, as well as minor injuries and bruising.
Compañ said that “the boats are unstable boats and the occupants are crammed closely together so they are susceptible to blows and dizziness during the crossings.” Some of the immigrants also have skin burns due to the reaction between salt water and fuel.
Two of the last four boats that reached the Alicante coast were discovered early Monday morning in Benitatxell and Teulada-Moraira, where the Civil Guard and the Local Police intercepted 14 people.
Later the same morning, the Guardamar Polimnia de Salvamento Marítimo ship docked with 20 rescued immigrants, 19 of them adult me, and a girl under 15 years of age. These people travelled in two boats. One of them was sighted in Orihuela Costa with 10 people by the Salvamento Marítimo. During the trip to Alicante they found another boat with 10 immigrants which they also rescued before taking then all to the Port of Alicante, where the Maritime Rescue ship was escorted by a vessel of the Maritime Service of the Civil Guard.
Immigrants rescued over the weekend and yesterday morning have told the Red Cross volunteers that they had been sailing for between two and five days, according to Patricia Compañ, who said they all come from Algeria .
The bulk of the assistance was carried out on Sunday, where, in addition to the 47 people intercepted in four boats on the coast of Alicante, emergency services assisted a further 92 people from different boats rescued in the waters of Cartagena. In this operation, the body of an immigrant was also recovered from the water, although he was finally taken to the port of Cartagena and not to Alicante.
Including the immigrants arriving in this latest wave, there are now 540 people who have arrived on the Alicante coast this year, according to the data handled by the National Police of Alicante.
Many of the immigrants treated this weekend have been released by the National Police as there are not enough places to accommodate them all in a Foreigner Internment Centre.
The Maritime Service of the Civil Guard in the Port of Alicante say they have recorded 55 boats intercepted this year, to which they must also add many more whose occupants have landed without being discovered.