Spain rescues 319 migrants by sea, 18 threatened to drown

Madrid — Spain’s Canary Islands rescue team says 319 people, including 59 women and 24 children, were rescued from seven different boats trying to reach the Atlantic archipelago, with at least 18 activists. The immigrant is said to have died.

Spanish rescue vessels arrived at boats at various locations at the end of Tuesday and early Wednesday, a maritime rescue service spokesman told The Associated Press that rescuers did not find bodies on or near the boat. Added.

Walking Borders, a non-governmental organization that works with migrants in the region, who are frequently contacted by people in need and their relatives, said at least 18 people traveling on one of the boats had died.

“Even if we knew the location of the boat, the rescue measures were too late,” Helena Maleno, the founder of the NGO, said in a tweet.

A spokesman for the maritime rescue team, who was not allowed to be named in media reports, was one of the operations late Tuesday, with nine rescuers clinging to a capsized boat 45 miles from Lanzarote. I found it, but I found a drifting object that said it had no bodies or people. She said the rescue boat needed to send another distress signal shortly afterwards.

Archipelago paramedics 112 said nine of the 319 survivors and one baby were transferred to local medical facilities on other nearby islands, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria. ..

Most of the rescued people were thought to have come from northern and central Africa, just 100 km (60 miles) east of the Spanish islands.

This dangerous route of travel, preferred by many Africans fleeing violence and poverty, has nearly constant tragedy with migrant rescue, boat arrivals, sea drowning and dehydration. According to official figures, more than 22,000 migrants arrived in the Canary Islands last year. This is about half of the total number of arrivals at sea recorded by Spain.

At least 384 people died in 2021 on the Western Mediterranean route to mainland Spain or its islands, according to the International Organization for Migration.

However, the Walking Borders, who collect testimony from relatives of survivors and victims, can accurately estimate the death toll in 2021 to 4,404, as boats are often not found and bodies are often not recovered. ..

By Aritz Parra

Associated Press