A boat carrying 28 people reached the west coast of Gran Canaria yesterday afternoon, landing at Tasarte in the municipality of La Aldea. The occupants included two women and a minor, all were in good health. This new boat, added to the other two that arrived during the previous two days
, now brings the number of migrants, to have reached the islands via the Atlantic route, to 2,020 according to official figures, reported by Spanish daily La Provincia. A total of 2,698 were counted for the whole of the past year, and so it is becoming more and more clear that traffickers are focusing on The Canary Islands once again.
This latest patera (open boat) reached Callaos beach near Tasarte, a few minutes before five yesterday afternoon. Local residents raised the alarm by calling the main Canary Islands 112 Coordinating Centre for Emergencies and Security (Cecoes), who deployed Red Cross, ambulances from the Canarian Emergency Service (SUC), Local Police and Civil Protection volunteers of La Aldea, along with Guardia Civil and National Police.
The migrants had managed to get off the wooden boat on their own grateful to have made landfall. All of them were in good health, according to sources in the medical attention service at the scene, who added that none of them needed further transfer to health centres.
This arrival is unusual as arrivals of this sort to the west coast of the island are quite rare, with most boats seeming to arrive from the east, or are recovered adrift to the south of the islands as the currents pull them out towards the Atlantic Ocean.
So far this year, irregular migration from the African continent has increased by at least 700%, according to statistics from the Spanish Ministry of the Interior, which indicates that between January 1 and May 3 2020, 1,936 migrants were recovered as compared to the 243 seen last year.
Coronavirus has not prevented trafficking gangs from continuing forward, although the Spanish Peninsula have reported a near 50% reduction in the arrival of people by sea, in the Archipelago the numbers have risen sharply.