A veritable fleet of boats of hope has been rescued south of these islands in the last 24 hours or so. Eight arrived before 11pm last night, pateras and cayucos, either escorted into land or finding their own way to coast, mainly in Gran Canaria and Lanzarote. Since then, six other craft have been helped, one arriving at Los Abrigos, Granadilla, and another at Los Cristianos, Arona. Most of the latest new arrivals are men but there are some women and children among them, some infants. None are said to have needed serious medical assistance.
Between all these craft, several hundreds of the most desperate and vulnerable people have now been added to the authorities’ logistical worries about how to care for them while processing their claims in a way that is humane, and does not turn these islands into a migrant prison. Their numbers are added to the 8,102 who have arrived at the Canaries between January and mid October this year, eight times the number of arrivals last year though still nowhere near the peak of 2006 which exceeded 30,000. The political fear of the islands being overwhelmed if the mainland does not speed up their transfer for processing to be done where there are more facilities is now being expressed openly, and strongly.