Intense search continues for a small Senegalese migrant boat

intense search continues for a small senegalese migrant boat

intense search continues for a small senegalese migrant boat

Spanish maritime rescuers have spent days looking for a fishing boat carrying at least 200 African migrants. The vessel that reportedly sailed from Kafountine in southern Senegal – 1,700 km from Tenerife – went missing off the Canary Islands more than a week ago.

According to the aid group Walking Borders, several children are on board, Efe reported. Furthermore, two similar boats carrying scores of more migrants are said to be missing as well. A plane had joined the search operation, Spain’s maritime rescue service told the news agency.

The Senegalese boat left for the Canary Islands on June 27. While there are few details about the other two boats missing, Reuters cited Helena Maleno of the aid group as saying one has about 65 migrants on board and the other up to 60.

Incident Follows Deadly Greece Migrant Boat Accident

The reports take the total number of people missing across the three vessels to over 300. The news arrives just weeks after one of the deadliest Mediterranean migrant shipwrecks hit Europe. An overcrowded fishing boat capsized off the Greek coast, reportedly carrying around 700 people.

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While a total of 104 migrants were rescued, at least 78 others were confirmed drowned. The trawler was carrying scores of Egyptians, Syrians and Pakistanis. Families of the victims are calling on Greece to raise the wreck from the ocean floor and recover the trapped bodies.

Boats heading from West Africa to the Canary Islands take on one of the most dangerous routes for migrants – as the people usually sail in simple fishing boats that can easily get tossed by powerful Atlantic currents.

Compared to 1,126 in 2021, at least 559 migrants got killed last year while attempting to reach the Spanish islands, according to IOM. “Despite the year-to-year decrease, flows along this dangerous route since 2020 remain high compared to prior years,” the UN body says.

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