Spanish Coast Guard Successfully Rescued 86 Individuals From A Migrant Boat
In a recent development, the Spanish coast guard successfully rescued 86 individuals from a migrant boat that had been missing for over a week. The vessel, carrying people from sub-Saharan Africa, was located approximately 70 nautical miles (130km) southwest of the Canary Islands.
Hilda WorkmanJul 11, 202317505 Shares301808 Views
A Spanish coast guard successfully rescued 86 individuals from a migrant boatthat had been missing for over a week. The vessel, carrying people from sub-Saharan Africa, was located approximately 70 nautical miles (130km) southwest of the Canary Islands. Assisted by a container ship, both vessels are currently en route to Gran Canaria island.
Unfortunately, two similar boats carrying several more people remain unaccounted for, with limited information available about them. According to Walking Borders, a migrant aid group, one of the missing boats was estimated to be carrying around 65 individuals, while the other had approximately 60.
These boats are believed to have departed from Senegal on June 23, four days prior to the larger vessel. Specifically, the boat set sail from Kafountine, a coastal town in Senegal situated roughly 1,700km away from Tenerife, as reported by Walking Borders.
Previously, the migrant aid group had estimated that the larger vessel, which departed from Kafountine on June 27, was carrying around 200 people, including numerous children, on its way to the Canary Islands. The recent rescue operation managed to save 86 individuals, consisting of 80 men and six women. However, it remains unclear whether all the people who were aboard the vessel have been accounted for and rescued.
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This news arrives just weeks after a tragic incident in which an overcrowded trawler sank off the coast of Greece, marking one of the deadliest migrant shipwrecks in the Mediterranean. At least 78 fatalities were confirmed, but the United Nations reported that up to 500 individuals were still unaccounted for and considered missing.
The journey from West Africa to the Canary Islands is recognized as one of the most perilous routes for migrants. Typically, they embark on this voyage using rudimentary fishing boats, which are highly vulnerable to the strong Atlantic currents, resulting in hazardous conditions at sea.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) of the United Nations, last year alone, a minimum of 559 individuals lost their lives while attempting to reach the Spanish islands. Shockingly, the death toll for 2021 surged to 1,126.
Nevertheless, the IOM highlights that gathering accurate information about the number of departures from West Africa remains challenging, and shipwrecks often go unreported, further complicating efforts to comprehend the full extent of the tragedy unfolding in the region.
The IOM further notes that migrants undertaking this perilous journey to the Canary Islands often originate from countries such as Morocco, Mali, Senegal, Ivory Coast, and other sub-Saharan nations.
Spain's interior ministry has reported that in 2022, a total of 15,682 individuals arrived in the Canary Islands without proper authorization. This figure represents a significant decrease of over 30% compared to the previous year, 2021.
"Despite the year-to-year decrease, flows along this dangerous route since 2020 remain high compared to prior years," the IOM says.