In 2 days, 10 migrants die trying to reach the Spanish islands
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) – Spanish rescuers say 10 migrants have died trying to reach the Canary Islands archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean.
Rescuers said Monday they found a drifting migrant boat 200 kilometers (124 miles) from the Canary Islands and rescued 40 people but recovered two bodies.
The boat would have left Dakhla on the coast of Western Sahara five days ago. A Spanish rescue plane spotted him drifting in the Atlantic Ocean. At least five people had to be evacuated by helicopter to a hospital on the island of Gran Canaria for urgent medical treatment. The other survivors were brought back to the port of Arguineguín on the same island in one of the Spanish rescue ships.
Monday’s deaths were reported a day after eight other people died aboard another migrant boat en route to the Spanish archipelago. The Red Cross said a migrant died shortly after reaching dry land on Sunday evening.
Spain’s maritime rescue service said more than 100 people had been rescued from migrant smuggling boats and brought to the Canary Islands in the past two days. Since the start of the year, more than 17,000 migrants and refugees have reached the Canary Islands by boat, an increase of 24% compared to the same period last year.
Some 900 migrants are believed to have died or gone missing on the dangerous migratory route from West Africa to the Canary Islands, according to the United Nations migration agency. Experts say even that number is underestimated, as many migrant ships sink without confirmation.
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