More than 300 migrants rescued off Spain's Canary islands

  • World
  • Wednesday, 26 Jan 2022

Migrants wait to disembark from a Spanish coast guard vessel, in the port of Arguineguin, on the island of Gran Canaria, Spain, January 26, 2022. REUTERS/Borja Suarez

ARGUINEGUIN, Spain (Reuters) - Spain's sea rescue service on Wednesday picked up more than 300 migrants trying to reach the Canary Islands in rickety boats, with nine of them clinging to a semi-sunken dinghy.

The rescue service said it was unaware of any drownings as reported by a rights group.

Helena Maleno, founder of the Walking Borders migration monitoring group, said 18 people had died trying to make the perilous crossing to the island of Lanzarote from Africa. Reuters could not confirm that figure independently.

The rescue service said on its Twitter account 319 migrants were rescued off six boats, including one carrying as many as 120 people, and were taken to Lanzarote and Gran Canaria.

Reuters footage showed dozens of people wrapped in red blankets arriving before dawn at the port of Arguineguin on a rescue boat and being helped off it to the pier by masked emergency workers in protective suits.

Ten people, including a pregnant woman and a baby, were sent to health centres, but none of them were in danger.

The islands off the coast of West Africa have become the main destination for migrants trying to reach Spain, with a much smaller share trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to the Spanish mainland.

A total of 22,316 migrants arrived in the Canaries illegally in 2021, compared with 23,271 the previous year. Last year was one of the busiest for such crossings in the past decade, according to interior ministry data.

Walking Borders said more than 4,400 migrants, including at least 205 children, were lost at sea trying to reach Spain in 2021, more than double the figure from 2020 and the most since the group began counting in 2018.

(Additional reporting by Emma Pinedo and Miguel Gutierrez in Madrid; writing by Emma Pinedo; editing by Andrei Khalip and Mark Heinrich)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In World

Russia's Gazprom continues shipping gas to Europe via Ukraine
Monsoon rains lash India's Kerala coast, two days ahead of usual
Nepal plane goes missing in bad weather with 22 on board
Colombians head to polls in divisive presidential election
Shanghai to ease some COVID testing requirements from June 1
Russia pummels hold-out city in east; Ukraine seeks longer-range weapons
Months after dam destroyed to stop Russian advance, parts of village still flooded
Woman claims her avatar was sexually assaulted in the metaverse
1st Ld Writethru: Triangle of Sadness wins Palme d'Or at Cannes
Triangle of Sadness wins Palm d'Or at Cannes

Others Also Read