At least three people have died, including a woman who is visibly pregnant according to rescuers, and five others are missing after a migrant boat sank off the island of Lanzarote, in the Spanish Canary archipelago, said. Friday local relief.
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Three people died, including two women, one of whom we think is pregnant,
" Enrique Espinosa, the head of the Lanzarote rescue service, told AFP. “
We believe that 49 people were on board. We found 44: 41 people alive and three people dead. We are looking for five people: a minor and four men,
”he explained. The boat overturned near a port in the north of the island, in a particularly dangerous rocky area and people in the port jumped into the water to help the migrants, he said. he added again.
The arrivals of migrant boats to the Canaries from Africa, a particularly dangerous crossing due to the strong currents, have increased since the end of 2019 and the strengthening of controls in the Mediterranean. In 2020, 23,023 migrants reached the Spanish archipelago, eight times more than the previous year, according to the Interior Ministry. At the same time, at least 1,851 people lost their lives in 2020 trying to reach the Canaries, according to the NGO Caminando Fronteras, which monitors these migrations.
From Africa, the crossing is at least one hundred kilometers, and the currents as well as the state of the boats and the fact that they are most of the time overloaded cause many human tragedies. At the end of April, a makeshift boat that was drifting off the Canary Islands was found with the corpses of 24 migrants on board. And in March, a two-year-old Malian girl died after several days of agony in a hospital in the Canaries after being picked up by rescuers aboard a makeshift boat.