Spanish rescue workers say 10 migrants have died trying to reach the Canary Islands archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean.
Rescuers said, on Monday, that they found a migrant boat 200 kilometers from the Canary Islands and rescued 40 people, but recovered two bodies.
It is believed that the boat left from Dakhla on the coast of Western Sahara five days ago. She was spotted by a Spanish rescue plane drifting in the Atlantic Ocean. At least five people had to be evacuated by helicopter to a hospital on Gran Canaria for urgent medical attention. The other survivors were brought back to the port of Arguingen on the same island in one of the Spanish rescue ships.
The deaths were reported on Monday, a day after eight more people died on board another migrant boat en route to the Spanish archipelago. The Red Cross said one of the migrants died shortly after arriving on land late on Sunday.
Spain’s Maritime Rescue Service said more than 100 people were rescued from migrant smuggling boats and taken to the Canary Islands in the past two days. So far this year, more than 17,000 migrants and refugees have arrived in the Canary Islands by boat, an increase of 24% compared to the same period last year.
About 900 migrants are reported to have died or gone missing on the dangerous migration route from West Africa to the Canary Islands, according to the United Nations migration agency. Experts say this number is an underestimate because many migrant ships are sinking without confirmation.