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Four Migrants Die After Being Thrown from Speedboat

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

November 29, 2023

© Avril / Adobe Stock

© Avril / Adobe Stock

Four migrants died after being thrown from a speedboat yards from a beach in Cadiz in southern Spain, Guardia Civil police and rescue service said on Wednesday.

The boat was carrying a total of 27 immigrants, 23 of whom arrived alive.

Images published on social media and carried by local media, whose authenticity has not yet been confirmed by Reuters, show a black inflatable speedboat circling in heavy tides off the beach and people onboard pushing others off the side, who start to swim in the swell.

"We saw a drug trafficking boat arriving but they weren't trafficking drugs but with migrants. Suddenly, they began jumping and some were thrown. There are even images showing one of the bosses was pointing with a gun to a migrant, like saying 'You jump, or I shoot you," eye witness Javier Gonzalez told TV local station.

Gonzalez is a windsurfer who was at the time on the beach with a group of about 15-20 colleagues and helped rescue the migrants from the water.

"We went towards the guys, the migrants and by that time, within one minute or two, there were already three of them facing down. What we did first was to take the ones facing down and then pulling the rest out."

As people on the beach run to help, the boat is seen speeding away.

Another eight adult male migrants were left on the shore of Sancti Petri beach, in nearby Chiclana, who were attended to by medical personnel and the Guardia Civil police, three of their number were transported to hospital suffering from hypothermia.

Cadiz is on the southern tip of Spain, around 20 km (12 miles) from the North African coast.

Despite its proximity, the Cadiz area is not a common destination for migration routes from the Maghreb as it is located on the Atlantic coast where sea conditions are more complicated and there is a lot of surveillance in the Strait of Gibraltar.

(Reuters - Reporting by David Latona, Belén Carreño and Miguel Gutiérrez; Writing by Aislinn Laing; Editing by Alexandra Hudson and Alistair Bell)

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