Canary Islands: 72 survivors, at least 28 missing
Over the past two days, Spain’s maritime rescue services reported rescuing 72 migrants from two separate boats. At least 28 people are still believed to be missing from another boat found about 120 kilometers south of Gran Canaria.
Spanish maritime rescue services Salvamento Marítimo located a migrant boat about 105 kilometers south of the main Canary island, Gran Canaria, early Monday morning.
The plane that first spotted the migrants on a dinghy thought there might already be migrants in the sea, although due to poor visibility it could not be immediately confirmed, the Spanish news agency reported. European press.
The Las Palmas Rescue Control Center immediately activated a call to nearby merchant vessels and dispatched a Coast Guard helicopter to scan the area.
“At least 28 missing”
Only 13 migrants survived when rescue services reached the migrants. They were found clinging to flotation devices when the Coast Guard arrived.
local broadcaster Canaries 7 reported on Monday that at least 28 people may still be missing in the Atlantic Ocean. However, the broadcaster said the number of people missing could not yet be confirmed due to the ongoing rescue operation.
The 13 survivors are from sub-Saharan Africa and consisted of 12 men and a teenager, according to the Spanish news agency. ECE reported.
Survivors told rescuers that there were at least 40 people on board originally and that they had been at sea for at least four days when a huge wave hit them and threw the majority of the passengers to the sea. sea, according to ECE.
Taken to hospital
The rescued migrants were transported by helicopter to the island of Gran Canaria. Two of them were treated for hypothermia, “while two others were taken to [the island of] Tenerife,” Reuters reported.
The incident comes just 24 hours after 44 other migrants lost their lives in the Atlantic off the coast of Western Sahara. In this case, 12 people survived and were brought ashore by the Moroccan rescue services.
The two nearby merchant ships, which responded to the Spanish emergency call, could not get too close to the migrant boat, without potentially causing more damage, reported ECEadding that they had tried to protect the migrants and rescuers from the wind while the operation was taking place.
Second incident, east of Lanzarote
In another incident in the Canary Islands archipelago on Tuesday, a total of 59 migrants were brought to safety in the port of Arrecife, Canaries 7 reported. Their dinghy was found east of the island of Lanzarote.
Five of the survivors were taken to hospital for evaluation. It was not reported what condition the others were in, how long they had been at sea, or where they had traveled from in Africa.
As of 8 May, 239 missing migrants have been recorded in 2022 on the West African/Atlantic route to the Canary Islands, according to figures from the UN Migration Agency’s (IOM) Missing Migrants Project. In 2021, 1,109 migrant deaths were recorded on the same route.
Spanish human rights organization Caminando Fronteras (Walking Borders) estimates the death toll on all routes to Spain in 2021 at 4,404. The majority of migrant deaths in Africa, however, take place on the road Atlantic to Spain.
Many of those who leave for the Canary Islands do not inform their families. Many do not know for months or even years that their loved one could be missing or dead, the organization said.