Over 50 Migrants Drown After Embarking on One of the Most Dangerous Routes to Spain

Over 50 sub-Saharan migrants drowned this Thursday whilst trying to reach the Canary Islands in two paddleboats off the Atlantic coast, one of the most dangerous routes to get to Spain.

“The Atlantic Ocean is dangerous, and the route is long. The boats are in increasingly worse conditions and people are more at risk so they come out in bad weather because they are totally desperate, and there are those who take advantage of this despair”, explains Helena Maleno, a defender of migrant’s rights and spokesperson for the Spanish NGO Caminando Fronteras.

“The Atlantic Ocean is dangerous and it is a long route . Then, the boats are in increasingly worse conditions and people are more at risk and come out in bad weather because they are totally desperate, and there are those who take advantage of this despair”, deplores Helena Maleno, defender of migrant rights and spokesperson for the Spanish NGO Caminando Fronteras.

In the first shipwreck, at least 10 sub-Saharan migrants died and another ten were rescued. Their boat sank off the coast of Dakhla, in Western Sahara. Moroccan authorities continue to mobilize to rescue other possible survivors or bodies.

In the second incident, another 40 sub-Saharan migrants drowned after the wreck of the boat in which they sailed from the coast of Nouadhibou. Only one person has been rescued from this shipwreck.

Maleno criticized “the misuse of rescue services”, as they could be more effective in other areas. She contends that there is effective coordination between Spain, Morocco and Mauritania in regard to migration control which could help the NGO use their time more effectively and ultimately it would help save lives.

Recently, residents of the Canary Islands have expressed their fury about migrants coming over. They argue that they do not mind them coming, instead, they are worried about them bringing in cases of the coronavirus.

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Written by

Laura Taylor

Laura Taylor is a graduate from the University of Leeds. At university, she obtained a Bachelors in Communication and Media, as well as a Masters in International Relations.
She is half British and half Spanish and resides in Malaga. Her focus when writing news typically encompasses national Spanish news and local news from the Costa del Sol.

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