29th September 2022
Inflatable boat
Barcelona News Catalonia News Madrid News Main News

47 dead, 7 survivors, on migrant dinghy heading to Canary Islands

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, say the deaths of 47 people who were onboard a boat heading to the Canary Islands from North Africa’s Atlantic coast highlight the urgent need for more support to prevent further tragedies at sea.

The boat reportedly left on 3 August carrying 54 people, including three children. After two days at sea, engine failure left passengers stranded without food or water for nearly a fortnight. When located by the Mauritanian coast guard on 16 August, only seven people were alive on board.

Survivors were taken to Mauritania’s northern city of Nouadhibou for medical treatment. Four people in critical condition were transferred to the hospital. UNHCR is working to provide assistance and to determine whether any survivors have international protection needs.    

In a statement (link via Twitter post below), the IOM and UNHCR are appealing for more support to be able to continue their lifesaving interventions, including through screening, medical and psychosocial aid.

The latest tragedy comes just 10 days after another 40 people lost their lives along the same route. It adds to the spiraling number of deaths as more vessels depart for the Canary Islands. As of January this year, more than 350 people have died, while over 8,000 refugees and migrants have reached Spain using this sea route.

Migrants risk their lives trying to reach European soil by land and sea, and deaths are not uncommon in the area of the Atlantic that separates the west coast of Africa and Spain’s Canary Islands. Shipwrecks on the route are hard to verify, and many of the victims’ bodies are never recovered.

Inflatable boat
Archive image shows the remains of an inflatable boat on a beach in Barbate, Cadiz, used by migrants in 2018. (Jorge Guerrero / AFP)

Sign up for the FREE Weekly Newsletter from Spain in English.

Please support Spain in English with a donation.

Click here to get your business activity or services listed on our DIRECTORY.

Click here for further details on how to ADVERTISE with us.

Booking.com

Recent Posts

‘A lot going on behind the scenes’ says UK ambassador about driving licence negotiations

News Desk

Spain’s Ombudsman says little ‘enthusiasm’ from Church into child abuse inquiry

News Desk

Confirmed: pop singer Shakira will face trial in Spain on charges of tax fraud

News Desk

Spanish politicians react to results of the Italian elections

News Desk

Minor earthquake felt on Costa del Sol in early hours of Monday morning

News Desk

Pedro Sánchez tests positive for Covid-19

News Desk

Leave a Comment