news banner

Local News

This news is translated from the Spanish Press unless otherwise indicated.

Body of drowned man recovered

The body of a 23 year old male was recovered a few hours after he disappeared while swimming with a friend. They were bathing off the coast of Nuevo Horizonte, in Antigua. Emergency helicopters and lifeboats were all involved in the search and rescue efforts, after his friend raised the alarm.

Carnival Season starts on the island

The carnival season is upon us once again, starting in Puerto del Rosario. About 5,000 people gathered in the 'Puerto Cabras' to watch the making of floating sculptures. The fine weather enticed the thousands of people who packed the promanade to witness the most important event of the festival. The creativity of the participants in their constructions delighted the audience who applauded because of their designs. The floats are made from various things to produce floating carnival grounds doing a tour from the capital of Fuerteventura pier and the beach of Los Pozos, using the basic principle of a ban on using mechanical propulsion systems and the requirement that participants not to rely on boats for the actual construction of the float. Founded twelve years ago the competition has become one of the most popular events of those held in Fuerteventura. For pictures of this event see Surfbum's report.

Islas Airways increases flights

The Islands Airway (Islas) has strengthened its presence in Fuerteventura, by an aircraft being based on the island. An ATR 72 aircraft was based in Fuerteventura last week, which has helped to provide an early daily connection with Gran Canaria. Only a few years ago was very difficult to get tickets to travel to other islands on certain days, or how the connections were very limited at times. The president of the airline, Miguel Concepción, recalled that "it was in Fuerteventura where the first connection to the Islands began several years ago. Over time we have increased the number of services and just a few months ago named one of our new aircraft after Fuerteventura. Islas also signed a collaboration agreement with the Chamber of Commerce in Fuerteventura, so that businessmen would benefit from a discount of 70 percent, including their companions, on the islands routes.

La Oliva prepares for summer

La Oliva municipality is getting ready for the summer! All around the promenades the benches are being replaced with new ones. The beaches have their flag poles, but no flags as yet. Wooden accesses for wheelchairs and baby buggies on the beaches have been laid.

Over half of Brits will book late for summer 09


Over half of Brits will book their 2009 summer holiday at the last minute, according to a specialist travel and leisure marketing agency.

The independent quarterly study, commissioned by BLM Horizon, found 54% of customers will book in April or later.

The number of customers who plan to book their holiday late has jumped by 14% since the same survey was done in September 2008.

Chris Armond, BLM Horizon business director, said: “The effects of the recession combined with the collapse of several airlines and the travel giant XL means consumers are more reluctant to commit in advance to big purchases such as holidays, although they still intend to take a holiday.

“Travel companies that offer protection and inclusive deals may benefit at the expense of those who don’t. Holiday-bookers may also be anticipating further last minute price cuts and are holding off for late deals.

“However, well-publicised reductions in capacity by the main tour operators mean that such deals may not materialise. Travel providers will have to weigh the risks of securing early bookings and investing in the strong consumer intent-to-purchase closer to the summertime.”

The survey also found that:

- 40% of holidaymakers state they will spend less on their holiday plans - an increase of 12% since September.

- 27% will save money by cutting the length of their holiday, 45% by booking cheaper destinations and 43% by choosing all-inclusive deals (43%).

- 70% of British holidaymakers will take the same (or more) holidays this year, down from 83% in September

- 19% state they will take less holidays this year (an increase of 11% since September) and 7% will not holiday abroad in 2009.

The survey was based on 1,000 survey respondents, a mix of package and independent holidaymakers, who travelled during 2008.

BLM Horizon clients include Thomas Cook, Warner Leisure Hotels, Innovation Norway, Tourism Montréal and Kew Gardens.
[www.travelmole.com]

More tobacco smugglers caught

Customs agents at Newcastle airport have seized £280,000 (nearly 200kg) worth of hand rolling tobacco in the last two weeks alone.

Four passengers were detained off a flight arriving from Tenerife and the haul accounted for just under half that amount.
This follows a recent success in Edinburgh when four men were arrested off a flight from Fuerteventura carrying 80,000  cigarettes destined for the black market.
UK Border Agency (UKBA) is determined to crack down on illegal tobacco smuggling, and has noticed a shift in the type of product being smuggled into the U.K.
The Canary Islands, with cheap tobacco prices, are a prime source for smugglers. [www.tenerifenews.com]

Dog helps to save boy from well

Mario, a young man of 13 fell into a well approximately 25 meters deep in the municipality of Tuineje, and only suffered scratches on various parts of his body. His dog, a cocker spaniel named Kira, alerted his family by barking madly and led them to the mouth of the shaft where he had fallen in. Mario always goes for a walk in the area with his dog. Kira. Passing near the well, which is without any protection, he tried to see if any wild pigeons were nesting in the stonewalls. He stepped on a stone, that was at the mouth of the well and it gave way and he fell in. Mario thought he would die as he had no means of escape. He started shouting the name of the dog and she started barking. Once in the water, Mario had the sense to take off his clothes to help stay afloat, while still calling Kira. The insistent barking of the dog led the boy’s uncle, Antonio Perez, to the mouth of the well. He immediately threw him a rope to attach to himself so he could be rescued. A neighbour alerted the local police Tuineje, whose officers arrived a few minutes being called. Then the members of Civil Protection, Guardia Civil and an ambulance from the SCS arrived. One of the members of the Civil Protection entered the well to rescue Mario, who was transferred to the Health Center of Greater Tarajal and subsequently sent to the General Hospital. No serious injuries were found and Mario only suffered some bruising. Tuineje municipality has more than 500 wells without proper protection, causing a serious hazard to people and wildlife. Marios accident has reopened the debate about the serious danger posed by these excavations, most of them abandoned. Tuineje City Council had ordered owners to fence or seal wells, water tanks or ponds, but there are still more than 500 without any protection. Local Police are continuously receiving numerous complaints by locals about the many wells that are not covered or have no security fences, which results in great danger for residents and people passing through these places who are unaware of them.

Biosphere Reserve proposal accepted

The Scientific Committee of the MaB Committee (Man and Biospher) of UNESCO, has accepted the proposal for the Biosphere Reserve in Fuerteventura. The proposal will be brought up in the next session of the General Assembly of UNESCO, that will be held next month and which will discuss the definitive approval of Fuerteventura's proposal. The approval of the proposal is the beginning of a crucial stage for the development of Fuerteventura, that will be respectful to the Biosphere and the natural environment of the Island.

Lidl to open on Fuerteventura

Lidl is to open a store on Fuerteventura, across the road from the industrial estate in Puerto del Rosario. The store is due to open in May 2009. The store is famed for providing no nonsense cheap foods.

Four men arrested for smuggling

FOUR men were arrested at Edinburgh Airport after customs officers discovered 80,000 cigarettes in their hand luggage and suitcases.
The men, aged between 30 and 45, had flown into the airport from Fuerteventura via Madrid on Wednesday.

Each had cases packed with boxes of cigarettes and had no other luggage, such as clothing, with them.

The cigarettes have an estimated street value of £18,000 and a duty loss amounting to around £14,000.

After questioning by HM Revenue & Customs officers, the men were charged with the illegal importation of cigarettes.

All four of the men were UK passport holders but three lived in Fuerteventura and the other in Dublin.

Colin Fraser, senior detection manager with UKBA at Edinburgh Airport, said:

"The cigarettes were intended for the UK black market but we can't say whether they were intended for sale in Edinburgh." [news.scotsman.com]

Fuertenews is a free publication bringing you news and views about Fuerteventura. Any donations would be welcome.