In Spain, eight migrants died, their boat sinking off the island of Gran Canaria

Seven migrants were found dead on Saturday aboard a sinking boat off the Spanish island of Gran Canaria. An eighth died on the ground, announced the Spanish rescue services, Sunday, November 14.

Among the sixty-two passengers of the boat, adrift for at least a week, three were transported by helicopter to receive emergency care. Several others were taken to hospital after their arrival in the night from Saturday to Sunday at the port of Arguineguin, said the Canarian sea rescuers.

The boat was spotted by a French sailboat around 6 p.m. (7 p.m. KST), some 38 miles south of the island of Gran Canaria, according to the Maritime Rescue Service which dispatched a boat to the area. Upon arrival, rescuers found that seven of the occupants of the skiff were dead.

That same night, another boat with thirty-six migrants, including a woman and a child, all in good physical condition, was located 8 miles south of Gran Canaria and brought back to Arguineguin, according to the emergency department of the archipelago.

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Increase in accidents at sea

This type of drama is recurrent on the Spanish coasts, which migrants seek to join, despite the dangers, mainly from Morocco or Algeria. A total of 32,713 migrants arrived by sea in Spain between January and October, 24.2% more than over the same period in 2020, according to figures from the Ministry of the Interior.

According to estimates from the end of September from the International Organization for Migration, 2021 was the deadliest year on the migration route to Spain, with at least 1,025 dead. The road to the Canary Islands is particularly dangerous. According to IOM, at least 785 people died trying to reach their shores between January and August this year.

Read the op-ed: Article reserved for our subscribers “It is no longer possible to consider migrants as subhumans who can be left to die at sea”

The World with AFP

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