SPAIN: Following the drowning of more than a dozen travellers on a similar route near Senegal the previous day, the Spanish coastguard reports that at least one person has died during an attempt to reach Spain aboard a boat that left sub-Saharan Africa.
On Tuesday, the Spanish coast guard saved 84 people while rescuing a boat close to the island of Gran Canaria. In the rescue operation one person perished.
At least 15 migrants drowned on Monday when a boat trying to travel the Atlantic migration route to Spain’s Canary Islands collapsed close to Senegal.
The Atlantic route has proven fatal for the hundreds of individuals from sub-Saharan African nations who attempt to go there each year in crowded vessels. Up to 39 individuals perished in drowning last month after their boat capsized close to the Spanish islands.
Eight people were sent to the hospital after the incident on Tuesday. On television, emergency personnel could be seen providing blankets to the others and putting some of them in wheelchairs and stretchers.
From the island of Gran Canaria, the boat was 8.5 nautical miles (15.7 km) away. At approximately five in the morning (four in the morning GMT), the passengers were transported to the ship’s port in Arguineguin.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that 1,126 of the 2,556 migrants killed in Europe last year were travelling from West Africa to Spain via the Atlantic Ocean. The route faces risks and perils, with 45 shipwrecks recorded in 2022, resulting in the death or disappearance of 543 migrants.
A strategy to control migration through the Western Mediterranean and Atlantic routes was unveiled by the European Commission in June. It entails combating smuggling and improving coordination with nations outside the European Union, including Morocco.
However, NGOs and human rights organizations have criticized the bloc, accusing member states of ignoring refugee deaths.
Around 180 organizations criticized the EU and its member states for not learning from past experiences and intensifying lethal lockdown policies, citing the bloc’s recent migratory accord on asylum procedures.