Lisbon, Portugal – Spanish emergency services said on Tuesday they rescued 57 sub-Saharan migrants on an inflatable boat heading for the Canary Islands, a day after 28 people went missing on the same perilous route from Africa when their boat swerved is overthrown.
Spain’s Maritime Rescue Service said one of its boats rescued 40 men, 14 women and three children in two hours before dawn.
A rescue services official said the previous night two of his helicopters rescued 13 people from an inflatable boat in rough seas about 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of the Canary Islands.
Survivors said there were 41 people on board the boat when it was hit by a large wave, but the missing could not be found, according to the official.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity, in accordance with departmental rules.
The journey across the Atlantic to the Canary Islands is one of the most dangerous migration routes in the world, according to authorities and rights groups, with journeys in often overloaded boats taking more than a week to complete. reach the Spanish archipelago and European soil.
Last year, 22,316 migrants arrived via the Canary Islands.
From January to mid-April this year, 6,359 migrants reached the archipelago, according to the Spanish Interior Ministry. This is a 60% increase over the same period last year.
The International Organization for Migration, a United Nations body, said 211 migrants are believed to have died or gone missing on the road so far this year, compared to 1,176 for all of last year. The actual number of people who died attempting the crossing is not known.
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