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Tenerife Boat Breakers
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Saturday, 14 October 2006

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As the Tenerife Scuba rib slowly made its way into the harbour in Las Galletas, Tenerife, there was an unusual scene unfolding on the beach. There is fron of our eyes, a Tenerife authority JCB was busy tearing apart an African Migrant Cayuco. (A Cayuco, is an large open boat that the unfortunate migrants of Western Africa use to transport themselves across the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean towards the Canary Islands.)
 
We had seen pictures of the Cayuco’s before but the difference this calm Tenerife morning was that here on the sand was the boat that maybe upwards of 100 people had risked their lives in open seas, just being smashed to pieces by a JCB.

 As we watched, it became clear that the Tenerife authorities were in no mood to allow this ‘evidence’ to just lay there. Within the space of 20mins, the large craft had been smashed to a pulp and removed form the sandy beach at Las Galletas, almost as if it had never been there in the first place. 

Each piece of boat was swiftly loaded onto a lorry and moved. All that was left of the scene was the tracks left in the sand by the JCB and the Cayuco, by the next day, the tide had been in and out and there was nothing to show that there had been any activity here on the beach.

 

I couldn’t help thinking what had become of these people who had been in the boat, where were they, had they any idea of the symbolic destruction of their existence here on Tenerife?

It’s not for me to question the rights or wrongs of the situation, there are others to do that but a solution needs to be found for all.

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