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Immigrants saved from rising tide 

PAGE 20 Immigrants saved

Police rescued ten immigrants who were in danger of drowning after becoming trapped under a dock in a Spanish port.

The immigrants had thrown themselves into the sea off a rescue boat and tried to evade capture by crawling into underground caverns.

But with the tide rapidly rising and just inches away from their hiding place, the Civil Guard was called in to rescue them from the port of Algeciras with just minutes to spare.

The ten men had been rescued by the Maritime service after they were spotted in an inflatable in the Strait of Gibraltar in a bid to get into Spain.

As they approached the port, several of them jumped into the water and swam under the pier where there are concrete blocks which act as a breakwater.

“This was highly dangerous, not just because the cavities eventually fill with water but because the concrete blocks have large iron bars and other jutting-out stones which could have broken off and seriously injured them. There is also virtually nil visibility in the underwater chambers,” said a police spokesman.

Divers helped the immigrants to safety before they became trapped by the rising tide.

All ten were rescued and taken to land where they were treated by health personnel and then transferred to a holding camp.