Wednesday, 17. December 2014
20. 05. 14. - 16:00
Spanish police say ever greater numbers of illegal immigrants are risking their lives hiding above ships' propellers in a bid to get to new lives in the west.
Only this week this pair pictured, aged 29 and 31, were caught after making the death defying journey inches from the rotating propeller blades after scrabbling onto the ship travelling from the city of Tangier in Morocco for the 20 mile trip to Spain.
It follows on from this incredible video that shows how a Moroccan man risked his life balancing on a narrow metal platform above the spinning blades of a ferry boat only last week.
Omar Iziel, 20, had put on a wetsuit and managed to clamber above the propellers before the ferry set off also from Tangier to Spain. The boat was travelling to the port of Tarifa, in the south Spanish province of Cadiz.
Two hours later after clinging on despite the cold and the rise and fall of the ship in the high seas, the ferry arrived in Tarifa with Omar still above the propeller.
But as the ferry reversed in order to dock, border guards spotted the stowaway and were waiting to arrest him when he swam ashore.
Police confirmed that the Moroccan man did not have an entry visa and he was arrested and jailed, pending being deported back to Morocco.
Spanish police spokesman Martial Portillo Alfaro, 43, said: "It was incredibly dangerous and if he had slipped it would have meant certain death. Yet it is an increasingly common way for people to try and enter the country, in fact this was the 31st person caught trying this trick so far this year."
Police released the video of the failed attempt to warn people that they knew about the stunt, and that the vessels are being checked each time as the start to come into port. But instead it seems to have simply encouraged others to try it.
Alfaro added: "The disadvantage of this way of travel apart from being deadly is that they can't jump and swim to shore until the vessel stops otherwise they risk being sucked into the propellers. That makes it relatively easy to catch them once the vessel has docked."
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