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Heroic policeman saves drowning migrants
A GUARDIA Civil officer risked his life to save a group of African migrants whose dinghy was overturned by rough seas off the coast of Ceuta.
The heroic officer was on the shore with other members of the force on 'migrant patrol', looking out for boats coming in and attending to their occupants, normally after tip-offs from Moroccan authorities alerting them of the time the crafts set sail and their likely route.
When the dinghy was nearly at the shores of Ceuta's Algarrobo beach, the storms and high tides flipped it over and all eight occupants were thrown overboard.
They were dragged mercilessly by the current and battered by waves of over two metres high.
Five of them managed to swim ashore, but two men and a woman were beaten back by the tides.
Seeing their predicament, the Guardia Civil officer dived into the sea to rescue them, despite the turbulent conditions that could easily have made him a victim along with the three drowning migrants.
He managed to bring all three of them ashore, before they all collapsed with exhaustion on the beach.
Red Cross workers on duty attended to all the migrants and to the brave officer, and they are all said to be in good health and none the worse for their ordeal.
The Spanish-owned city-province of Ceuta on Morocco's northernmost tip, just across the Strait of Gibraltar, is a main entry point for migrants along with its fellow coastal enclave of Melilla, close to the Morocco-Algeria frontier, since these outposts of Spain are the only land borders the European Union shares with the continent of Africa.
Photograph shows a group of African migrants in Red Cross blankets after sailing into Spain in one of the many incidents of Sub-Saharans risking their lives to reach Europe by boat
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