Seventeen deceased migrants found on boat near Canary Islands

The bodies of seventeen migrants were found on a drift boat near the Canary Islands. Three hypothermized persons have been brought to safety by helicopter, reports the Spanish Rescue Service.

The ship floated almost five hundred kilometers from El Hierro, the smallest Canary Island, when it was discovered by the Spanish Air Force. A boat with four deceased migrants was found on that island this month. Nineteen others could then be saved.

According to UN refugee organisation UNHCR, many migrants continue to venture the risky crossing from the African mainland to the Canary Islands. UNHCR had fewer than 2700 migrants on the route in 2019; last year there were at least 22,000 migrants.

In 2020, hundreds of people died trying to reach the Spanish islands. According to Missing Migrants Project, a United Nations agency, it involves at least 849 people who died or went missing.