More than 400 migrants in Arguineguín crowded on to a dockside in a heatwave
A man died while trying to reach the Canary Islands by sea aboard one of the eight boats that reached the Archipelago yesterday with more than 200 people on board. The deceased was part of a group of 58 migrants who were rescued by Salvamento Marítimo (Marine rescue) five kilometres south of Tenerife. Six boats arrived on Gran Canaria, the occupants of which were added to those already on the Arguineguín dockside, on the south-west of the island, detained and for several days on asphalt with more than 400 migrants in Arguineguín now sleeping under canvas, according to the Red Cross.
On Tenerife, a pleasure boat reporte the sighting of a patera, in the early afternoon, five kilometres from the coast of Las Galletas, in southern municipality of Arona, close to Varadero beach. A SAR Helimer 202 helicopter headed to the scene, to oversee the rescue operation, according to reports from Europa Press.
On board the boat were 58 people, including several women and children, who were transferred to the Port of Los Cristianos by the Salvamar Alpheratz marine rescue vessel. One of its occupants died before reaching Tenerife and others had to be transferred to health centres on the island once on land.
Hours later a second boat arrived on Tenerife, at a beach located between Granadilla de Abona and Arico, carrying 43 people on board.
Rescue operations on Gran Canaria started before sunrise. During the early morning, Maritime Rescue personnel aboard the Guardamar Talía transferred 27 people to Arguineguín who were intercepted sailing towards Gran Canaria in two boats. On the first, located by a Civil Guard patrol about six kilometres from Maspalomas, were eight migrants. On the second, detected two nautical miles away, were another 19. All appeared to be in good health upon arrival at the harbour, according to the the Canary Islands Government’s 112 Coordinating Centre for Emergencies and Security (Cecoes).
Two boats landed on the south coast of Gran Canaria by their own means early in the morning. The first made landfall at Castillo del Romeral at around 9:30 am with ten people on board. The second was in Maspalomas, where the Police were deployed to locate its occupants, who had dispersed along the beach.
During the morning, the Salvamar Menkalinan Maritime Rescue vessel had to participate in two consecutive rescue operations to the south of Gran Canaria. At around 11:00 a.m. arriving in Arguineguín after helping 54 people who were about eleven kilometres from the Mogán coast. After leaving these migrants on the dockside, she set out again to pick up fourteen more people of Maghrebi origin who were approaching Gran Canaria in another boat.
Both groups were also directed to the provisional makeshift camp set up in Arguineguín by the Red Cross, where yesterday more than 400 people remained, according to sources, cited by the Spanish news agency Efe, from the emergency services that attend this facility. This number is similar to the total number of migrants arriving in the Archipelago throughout all of 2019 (418) via the Atlantic route. The volume of arrivals led the Red Cross yesterday to call on volunteers from all over the island to join and assist their deployment in the South.
The situation which now sees more than 400 migrants in Arguineguín, in Red Cross tents for several days, exposed to temperatures exceeding 30ºC in the shade for much of the day, generated a lot of tension yesterday. During the morning there were protests from the migrants themselves, in which the National Police had to intervene to try to keep calm. According to sources from the Government Delegation in the Canary Islands, 28 people were transferred from Arguineguín to relocate them to another point on the island, although they did not specify where.