Migrant arrivals to Canary Islands double from last year

Image: Wikipedia

More than 8,000 migrants arrived in the Canary Islands between January 1 and August 15 this year.

Some 8,222 migrants arrived in the Canary Islands between January 1 and August 15 this year. In the same period last year that number was 3,364, according to the Interior Ministry.

In 2020 more than 23,000 migrants arrived in islands, eight time more than the number in 2019.

The total number of people arriving in Spain in 2020 rose by 29 per cent and was almost 42,000 people.

Related: A maritime rescue boat and the fishing vessel Ave María II have saved the lives of 65 immigrants that were spotted sinking in their inflatable 65 kilometres off the coast of Fuerteventura in Spain’s Canary Islands on August 22.

Service teams found the boat was tightly packed with 49 men, 12 women and four children- seven of those rescued had already fallen into the water.

The rescue has been described as ‘very distressing’ by the people that intervened because they know that that the people were saved “at the last minute.”

The rescue call was received this morning, Sunday, August 22, about 35 nautical miles southeast of Morro Jable, by the Lanzarote registered tuna vessel Ave María II, who notified Salvamento Marítimo.

That ship was instructed to just stay with the refugee boat without attempting to bring its occupants on deck unless strictly necessary.

The captain aboard the Ave María II reported that six people had fallen into the water when they tried to approach the boat.

The Ave María II managed to pick up the six castaways and lost sight of the pneumatic as fast currents dragged it away out of sight.

It was the Helmer 204 rescue helicopter, which was already on its way, that found it shortly after, half-deflated at the stern, taking in water and with one of its occupants clinging to a fuel drum to avoid sinking.

Around 8:00 a.m., the Salvamar Mízar, who saved all the people who were in it, including the one floating with a jerrycan.

The emergency services have no evidence to date that there have been fatalities, but sources from the Caminando Fronteras collective have indicated that one of the occupants of the inflatable telephoned his family when he arrived at the port and said that one of his companions was missing.

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Written by

Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.


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