12 August, 2017
Three times as many migrants have arrived so far in 2017 as the amount who had arrived in the same period past year. In #Spain, there has been a tripling in the number of undocumented migrants entering the country by sea in 2017 compared to the same period in 2016, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The coastguard said they were on a rickety boat off the southern town of Tarifa, in Cádiz province, where a boat full of migrants landed at a popular tourist beach on Wednesday, stunning tourists.
Some 40 sub-Saharan Africans arrived by boat on a southern Spanish beach recently and scattered among startled sunbathers and a day later some 700 others tried unsuccessfully to storm the border crossing between Spain's North African enclave of Ceuta and Morocco.
"It's important that more alternative legal pathways are established to avoid that people come to Europe, to Spain through these risky ways, to avoid people risking their lives at the sea", Otero said.
"If so, that's a big change".
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But to get to Italy, they have to cross the Sahara desert and crucially Libya, wracked by chaos as rival militias and administrations seek to control the oil-rich country.
But with the dangers faced, some may be deciding to go up along the coast instead.
In Libya there "appears to be a very deliberate strategy to put people out there, in overloaded boats that begin to take on water nearly immediately and then it's a race to see how quickly the people on the boat can summon aid", he said.
The number of arrivals from north Africa is likely to increase further due to the good summer weather, said Inigo Villa, head of the disaster management unit at the Red Cross.
By the time authorities had arrived, the group had dispersed and left the beach.
The number of sea arrivals, however, doesn't take into account those coming into Ceuta and Melilla, two Spanish territories in northern Morocco, by land.