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Tenerife sees first “patera” arrival of the year 

PAGE 10 TENERIFE

A tiny boat packed with 36 illegal immigrants, eleven of them children, have tried to land on one of the most popular beaches on Tenerife.

A local fisherman spotted the “patera” in the early hours of the morning and called in the authorities.

The boat, in a very bad condition, was trying to reach Los Cristianos in the south and was just 200 metres from the nearby beach of El Camison.

Police said 34 of the occupants came from Mauritania, one from Gambia and one from Mali. At least evelen are thought to be minors.

Two fishing boats helped the Maritime Rescue service to guide the patera to the shore as it was first spotted at 5.35am when still dark. They finally arrived at the port of Los Cristianos, watched by a large crowd of holidaymakers, at 8.15am.

Government delegate in the Canary Islands, Mercedes Roldós said all the immigrants were in good health, except one who had to be referred to a health centre because he had symptoms of hypothermia and another who had suffered a blow to the head before the hazardous journey.

This was the first boat of immigrants to be detected in Tenerife this year although there have been other arrivals at a number of the other islands in the Canaries, including Gran Canaria.