A tragic day yesterday when, at around midnight, the rescue boat Polimnia arrived at Motril port with 102 migrants, along with the bodies of four men and one woman. All the migrants were rescued from two inflatable craft after one of them got a puncture and sank. It is believed that the deceased people were caught in ropes while trying to swim clear.
We must mention, and indeed spare a thought for the crew of the Polimnia. Witnesses mentioned that the distress was clearly etched on their faces, ending a long hard shift sharing their hugely overloaded craft with traumatised survivors and five bodies.
It wasn’t just Motril that was overflowing, with 500 people rescued from the sea and taken to several Andalusian ports. The crews continue to search the seas, day in, day out. And not just on the sea. It was a helicopter (Helimer 207) that found the inflatable craft that got the puncture. The crew threw an inflatable rescue boat for the survivors. Had it not been for their speedy arrival and skill, the loss of life could have been a lot worse.
As for the reception facilities in Motril, they are completely full. After the arrival of this latest 102, the decision was made to reopen the old Attention and Detention Centre which was closed for important improvement works. Readers may have heard about the military installations which is being used in the interim… however, this ‘tent city’ is completely full.
Can Motril continue to absorb this kind of pressure? The rescue teams and the Red Cross continue to do sterling work and one can only try to imagine the even bigger tragedy that would unfold without them. Could the central government be doing more? Or should the issue of these souls be approached at the origin of the problem… in Africa?
(News: Motril, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)