Migrants wait to disembark from a Spanish coast guard vessel, in the port of Arguineguin, Spain March 16, 2021 | Photo: Reuters/Borja Suarez
Migrants wait to disembark from a Spanish coast guard vessel, in the port of Arguineguin, Spain March 16, 2021 | Photo: Reuters/Borja Suarez

Fifty-two people were rescued from a boat south of the Canary Islands on Tuesday evening. Emergency services said that 10 of the migrants were suffering from hypothermia.

A total of 52 people from sub-Saharan Africa, including nine minors, were found onboard a boat south of the island of Gran Canaria on Tuesday evening and brought to the port of Arguineguin, Spain's Maritime Rescue Service said.

Emergency services reported that 10 people were admitted to hospital, including a 25-year-old woman and a 2-year-old child in a serious condition.

Authorities said a Spanish search and rescue plane was still looking for about 200 people on four migrant boats which had sent alerts the day before, according to the news agency AP. It was not clear whether the boat rescued on Tuesday evening was one of the four that had called for help.

Ten migrants were hospitalized with hypothermia after being rescued south of the island of Gran Canaria, Spain March 16, 2021 | Photo: Reuters/Borja Suarez
Ten migrants were hospitalized with hypothermia after being rescued south of the island of Gran Canaria, Spain March 16, 2021 | Photo: Reuters/Borja Suarez

The Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean has become the main route for West African and Moroccan migrants and asylum seekers trying to reach Europe. Around 2,600 people have survived the crossing and reached the islands by boat so far this year.

In 2020, around 23,000 people successfully made the crossing. According to the IOM’s Missing Migrants Project, more than 600 were reported dead or missing. Estimates by some NGOs are much higher.

Island protests

A sharp rise in the number of migrants arriving in the Canary Islands last year put added pressure on the Spanish territory. Some local residents have protested against the government's handling of the arrivals.

The government has allowed only those considered to be vulnerable to be moved to the Spanish mainland, leaving around 9,000 adult migrants and 2,000 unaccompanied minors on the islands. Some have turned to hunger strikes and self-harm, fearing deportation and racist attacks.

With AP

 

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