It is almost five in the afternoon and a woman is having coffee on the terrace when a scream from her daughter startles her and, in the process, puts the entire port of La Restingaon the Canary Island of The iron. He hasn’t hurt himself, but rather acts as a lookout: “Look, mom, a canoe!” A new barge with about 70 people on board, the first today and the tenth in the last 72 hours, was sighted 1.5 miles away from land. Minutes later she arrived at the port, quite full of water and with large star flags painted on the bow and stern of the boat. It is one of the common methods to identify and differentiate these vessels. At the port, they explain that the flag is popular because they see it on television in the broadcasts of Barcelona matches.
Until that moment it had been a day of tranquility after two days in which the arrivals took place in a frenetic manner, with approximately 1,200 people arriving in El Hierro in nine different boats. Among them, on Tuesday, the largest since there have been records on the Canary Islands route, with 280 people on board.
This Thursday, as you could see THE WORLD, activity in this port, a regular destination for divers from all over Europe, was limited to the cleaning and destruction of the boats that had arrived during the week. Several of them, of considerable size and with features that showed that the people who had been in them had done so for several days (there were clothes, remains of food and even a mobile phone could be seen), were about to be intervened in the moment in which this new cayuco has been sighted.
Members of the Red Cross and the Canarian Emergency Service (SUC) have already traveled to La Restinga to help these people. Some of them have needed medical assistance, with symptoms of apparent dehydration, although none of them seem to be serious.
At the same time, the Government has today begun to transfer the migrants who have been arriving in recent days to the island of Tenerife. This morning two ships transported more than 300 people, so most of the hundreds of people who have arrived at the port of La Restinga in the last 48 hours still remain on the island. El Hierro, with barely 11,000 inhabitants, does not have resources or infrastructure to assimilate the continuous arrival of irregular migrants.