Dramatic Photos Show Officer Hoisting Drowning Baby to Safety Amid Migrant Surge

Spanish officers were pictured saving young children from the sea amid a huge surge of thousands of migrants who are trying to enter the country's small North African enclaves.

Three photos shared on Spain's Civil Guard Twitter page showed its officers saving young children from the sea, as 8,000 migrants reached Ceuta in two days.

One of the images showed an officer in the sea holding a baby with one arm wrapped around a life preserver, while the two other pictures showed other agents bringing two children safely to shore.

In its Twitter post, translated to English via Google, the Civil Guard said: "Civil guards of the GEAS (Special Group for Underwater Activities) and ARS (Reserve and Security Group) save the lives of dozens of minors who came to Ceuta by sea with their families."

While it is unknown how the children were rescued, they were saved from the water as thousands entered Ceuta via the sea.

#MuyGrandes🎖️
Guardias civiles del #GEAS y la #ARS salvan la vida de decenas de menores que llegaban a #Ceuta por mar junto a sus familias. pic.twitter.com/MyzOaB4hjR

— Guardia Civil 🇪🇸 (@guardiacivil) May 18, 2021

According to the BBC, 1,500 minors were among the migrants who either swam around the border fence that stretches out to the sea, or walked across from Morocco at low tide.

An unnamed agent was quoted by Spanish newspaper El País as saying the vast majority of migrants were "young."

In a comment translated into English via Google, the agent said: "The city is overwhelmed, there are groups of immigrants on every street, especially in the port area, downtown and the San Jose neighborhood.

"Most of them, 99 percent are young."

The north African territories of Ceuta and Melilla have been under Spanish rule since the 17th century, although Morocco has repeatedly called on Madrid to transfer the enclaves to their control.

Ceuta is home to more than 84,000 people and is considered European Union territory, making it a stepping stone for African migrants wanting to reach continental Europe.

Diplomatic relations between the nations collapsed recently when Morocco recalled its ambassador from Spain.

In a statement sent to the Spanish news agency Europa Press, Morocco's Ambassador to Spain, Karima Benyaich, said: "There are actions that have consequences and we must assume them."

Hoping to relieve tensions in the region, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said, via Twitter, he would travel to Ceuta and Melilla in an effort to "restore order" in the enclaves.

The tweet read: "Today I will travel to Ceuta and Melilla to show the determination with which the Government of Spain is acting. We will restore order as quickly as possible.

"We will be firm to guarantee the safety of citizens in the face of any challenge and under any circumstance."

When the prime minister arrived, he was met with hostile protesters who threw objects and kicked cars that were part of the convoy.

Spanish troops have also been deployed to Ceuta's main entry points along the border. Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said 200 troops and an additional 200 police officers would be sent to assist the enclave's 1,200-strong border force moving forward.

According to the BBC, Spain has sent back around half of the migrants who entered Ceuta in the past two days.

The photos showed the rescue effort
A photo of a Spanish officer rescuing a baby from the sea. Guardia Civil/ Twitter