Incredible moment Ceuta cop saves newborn baby from sea after 8,000 migrants swim from Morocco

A SPANISH cop managed to save a newborn baby from the sea after 8,000 migrants swam from Morocco.

Spain's Guardia Civil posted a picture of an officer rescuing a migrant baby from the water off the shore of the Spanish enclave of Ceuta.

‘Scared’ Spanish locals have locked themselves indoors and Covid jabs have been suspended as the army rounds up migrants desperately fleeing Morocco.

Worried officials in Brussels have urged Morocco to stop the flow of people into the Spanish enclave of Ceuta after 6,000 crossed into it.

Thousands of Moroccans have been taking advantage of relaxed border controls in their nation to swim or paddle in inflatable boats onto European soil.

About 5,000 reached Ceuta after swimming round a border fence – with one found dead – after many used inflatable rings and rubber dinghies, authorities said.

The arrival of the largest ever number of migrants in a single day came after Morocco opened its border in the wake of a diplomatic row.

By Tuesday morning some 6,000 people in total had crossed the border into Ceuta since the first arrivals began early Monday, the Spanish government said, including 1,500 thought to be teenagers.

The city of 85,000 people lies in North Africa on the Mediterranean Sea, separated from Morocco by a double-wide, 10-metre (32ft) fence.

La Vanguardia reported that Ceuta residents had locked themselves indoors as the army rounded up migrants fleeing Morocco.

The president of Ceuta, Juan Vivas, announced the suspension of the area's Covid jab rollout, citing "a state of exception".

People felt "scared", and children were staying home from school, Vivas added.

"What is at stake is not only the tranquillity of Ceuta, it is the capacity of the state to preserve the territorial integrity of Spain," Vivas said.

Video showed people climbing the rocky wall of the breakwaters and running across the Tarajal beach, in the south-eastern end of the city.

A young man drowned attempting the crossing and several others, including toddlers, were rescued suffering from hypothermia.

“They arrived in Ceuta swimming and included around 1,000 minors,” a spokesman for the local government said.

Around 200 extra police and soldiers were being deployed as migrants continued to stream into the North African enclave, which is part of Spain.

Soldiers in armoured vehicles were guarding Ceuta's beach on Tuesday.

"The army has gathered at the border in a deterrent role, but there are great quantities of people on the Moroccan side waiting to enter," Juan Vivas told Cadena SER radio.

Vivas, a conservative, said the residents of Ceuta were in a state of "anguish, concern and fear".

Some 2,000 people were being held in a warehouse designed only a tenth that number, while others disappeared into the city, El Pais reported.

“We are overwhelmed," source in city told the paper.

Brussels has urged Morocco to stop migrants from entering the enclave from its territory.

"Spain's borders are the European Union's borders," European Council chief Charles Michel tweeted in Spanish, as he voiced solidarity with Madrid.

A spokesman for the Spanish government in Ceuta said the scale of the influx was unprecedented and could yet rise.

The migrants had got there by swimming or walking at low tide from beaches, including Fnideq, in neighbouring Morocco, a few kilometres to the south, he said.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has called off a trip to Paris planned for later on Tuesday due to the surge in migrant arrivals in Ceuta, the government said.

Spain’s Interior Ministry said it would increase the security presence in the area and said both countries had recently agreed anyone illegally entering Ceuta would be returned.

But ‘No Name Kitchen’, an independent NGO working with refugees in Ceuta has taken exception to armoured vehicles being placed along the shore.

It tweeted that the Spanish army was “facing unarmed people. This is not an invasion."

Spanish Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said that about 2,700 migrants had already been sent back to Morocco under a readmission deal.

The influx followed the souring of Spain's relations with Morocco over Madrid's decision to allow the leader of a militant group to receive medical treatment.

It emerged that Polisario Front leader Brahim Ghali arrived in northern Spain in mid-April and is being treated in hospital for Covid-19.

The Polisario Front has long fought for the independence of Western Sahara, which Morocco has ruled since 1975.

Ceuta and nearby Melilla have the EU's only land borders with Africa, making them popular entry points for migrants seeking a better life in Europe.

Hundreds of them risk injuries or death every year while trying to jump over fences, hide inside vehicles or by swimming around breakwaters that extend into the Mediterranean Sea.

The sheer number people making the crossing in just one day strained police and emergency workers in Ceuta, a city of only 84,000 people.

The figure is nearly three times the total arrivals so far this year in the two Spanish territories and more than in 2020, when 2,228 people arrived by both land and sea.

Last year a 17-year-old girl was found curled up in the foetal position behind a car's glove compartment as she tried to smuggle herself into Spain.

She was attempting to cross into Melilla, another Spanish enclave on the north coast of Morocco.

Border cops searched further with special machines and detected a heartbeat coming from behind the dashboard.

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