Spanish Salvamento Maritimo members rescue a child on June 20, 2021 | Photo: Elvira Urquijo/EFE/imago
Spanish Salvamento Maritimo members rescue a child on June 20, 2021 | Photo: Elvira Urquijo/EFE/imago

Forty-five people, among them several children, were rescued on Sunday and brought to shore on Gran Canaria, the largest of Spain’s Canary Island archipelago in the Atlantic.

On Sunday, June 20, the Spanish coast guard rescued 45 migrants, including eight children, from a small boat about 38 nautical miles off the coast of the largest of the Canary Islands, Gran Canaria.

The migrants were in relatively good health, reported the Spanish online news portal Aragón Noticias with news agencies. However, seven of the group were taken by Red Cross volunteers to a clinic to be helped with "various conditions."

Since the beginning of this year, more than 5,700 migrants have made it to the Canary Island archipelago from the west coast of Africa. That is more than double the numbers who attempted the crossing in the same time period in 2020. The most frequent setting off points are Morocco, Mauritania, Guinea and Senegal.

Spanish Salvamento Maritimo members rescue a total of 45 migrants who traveled on board a small boat trying to reach the Canary Islands on June 20, 2021 | Photo: Elvira Urquijo/EFE/imago
Spanish Salvamento Maritimo members rescue a total of 45 migrants who traveled on board a small boat trying to reach the Canary Islands on June 20, 2021 | Photo: Elvira Urquijo/EFE/imago

Babies among those rescued

According to the Spanish newspaper El Diario, the migrants are originally from various sub-Saharan African countries.

The search and rescue coordination center in Las Palmas told El Diario that they had received a call at about 9 on Sunday morning from a vessel, the Gebe Oldendorff, signalling that the migrant boat was present and in need of help.

The captain of the vessel was instructed to remain close to the migrants and keep them calm and that help was on its way, reported El Diario. The maritime rescue ship arrived at around 11:20 a.m.

The rescued migrants were disembarked at Arguineguín quay at about 1 p.m. on Sunday. Sunday's arrivals followed shortly after the arrival of dozens on Friday. As one boat approached the island of Lanzarote it flipped over and four people lost their lives. Twelve were injured.

 

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