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Immigrant drowns after jumping off a boat at Maro

The immigrants disembarked on a beach at Maro.
The immigrants disembarked on a beach at Maro. / SUR
  • The number of people trying to enter Spain via the same route has grown exponentially, and is already double that in 2016

A man drowned earlier this week after jumping into the sea from a small boat as it approached a beach known as Molino del Papel, in Maro. He was one of 35 immigrants on board the semi-rigid boat, which was reported to have left Bouyafar in Morocco around midday on Sunday and disappeared. The occupants of the boat, which was three and a half metres long, included six women and a child.

A search-and-rescue operation was put into effect by the Spanish authorities, including three rescue aircraft and an Air Force plane. The boat was spotted around 5.30pm on Monday, when it was close to the Spanish shore.

The man who died is believed to have jumped into the sea in deep water before the boat reached the shore, and drowned almost immediately.

The other occupants of the boat were assisted by Red Cross and medical personnel when they had disembarked onto the sand.

The Maritime Rescue Service says that while searching for this boat, one of its planes spotted another which was carrying around 30 people. A rescue boat was sent to pick them up and take them to Motril port.

So far this year 1,953 immigrants have been rescued after crossing from North Africa to the Malaga coast. The number of people trying to enter Spain via the same route has grown exponentially, and is already double that in 2016.