THIS is the astonishing moment migrants reached a packed tourist beach in broad daylight and jumped off their boat before running to hide behind cliffs.
Holiday-makers watched aghast as the semi-inflatable Zodiac carrying nearly 50 Moroccans, including around at least 19 children, beached near a purpose-built luxury hotel area on Spain’s Costa de la Luz, The Sun reported.
Two people were reported to have been held by police and several teenagers on the boat were assisted by workers at nearby hotels and restaurants.
The incident happened midafternoon on Sunday at Barrosa Beach, considered to be one of the best beaches on Spain’s southern coast.
The beach is near a purpose-built residential and tourist resort called Sancti Petri that boasts shops, restaurants and several four and five-star hotels.
One of the beachgoers filming the surreal scene could be heard saying in Spanish: “Look how they’re running towards the Sancti Petri Melia Hotel. They’re heading for the Melia Sancti Petri. Look, look, look.”
A witness said beachgoers took mobiles that had been left in the boat.
The witness added: “We thought they weren’t going to reach the beach because it’s not something that’s normal in this area, but they leapt off the Zodiac very quickly and began to climb up the rocks.”
The Civil Guard said 25 of the migrants — 19 children and six adults — have now been detained and were in holding centres before being returned.
The authorities were looking for the remaining migrants.
“None of those intercepted have been arrested as they haven’t committed a crime,” a Civil Guard spokesman said.
“They will be dealt with differently depending on whether they are adults or minors.
“The minors will be taken to youth centres and the adults to a secure migrant holding centre called a CIE. The return of the adults to their country of origin will be fairly quick.”
Sources said the underage migrants would remain in Spain.
“We don’t know exactly how many people were on the boat but it’s obvious a number of the migrants managed to get away undetected,” a source said.
“The authorities are still looking for them.”
Last month around 50 migrants were filmed landing on a packed beach and sprinting up the sand at a beach in nearby Zahora, Spain.
The men and women, who were from sub-Saharan Africa, were filmed jumping from a rickety wooden boat known as a patera in the July 28 arrival.
Spain has overtaken Italy as the preferred destination for migrant arrivals in Europe this year after Italy’s new hard line Interior Minister Matteo Salvini introduced a blanket ban on migrant boats entering the country’s ports.
The number of migrants and refugees using the western Mediterranean route to reach Spain stood at 20,992 between January 1 and July 25 according to the International Organisation for Migration.
That was close to the 22,108 people who used the route to reach Spain during the whole of last year.
Coastguards rescued 88 migrants in the Gilbraltar Straits on Saturday and more than 60 migrants on Sunday.