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Showing posts from July, 2016

Paradise lost - the wrecked boats along the coast of Tarifa

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Can you imagine being so desperate for a better life that you risk death to get it? I don't mean the sort of risks us lucky westerners take most days like crossing the street or driving a car, I don't even mean the sort of risks those more adventurous of us take like sky diving or motorbike racing. I mean crossing treacherous waters in boats not fit for purpose or clinging on to the outside of a ferry.
In November 1988 17 bodies of African immigrants were found washed up on Los Lances beach in Tarifa, Spain. Since then over 20,000 African people have died trying to make the crossing from Morocco to Tarifa over the Strait of Gibraltar. At this point the sea is only about 15km (9.5 miles) across and so is an obvious point to cross. There are also many more people reported missing that are thought to have died making this crossing.
Most people attempting to cross carry out the dangerous journey on small boats known as 'pateras' in Spanish, which means dinghy but more ofte…