14 hospitalized in Canaries after Spain rescues migrant boat

International

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Dozens of migrants have been rescued from a boat near Spain’s Canary Islands, with 14 people — many suffering from hypothermia — requiring hospitalization, authorities said Wednesday. A maritime rescue service plane also spotted a second boat carrying migrants south of Gran Canaria.

A 2-year-old girl in critical condition and three women in serious condition were among nine children and five adults who were hospitalized, the local health department said.

A total of 52 sub-Saharan Africans including 29 women and nine children were found onboard the vessel seven nautical miles south of the island of Gran Canaria on Tuesday evening and brought to the port of Arguineguin, Spain’s Maritime Rescue Service said. Upon disembarkation, Red Cross medics immediately performed resuscitating maneuvers on the baby girl on the floor, said a spokeswoman for the Red Cross in the Canary Islands.

Also on Wednesday, a Spanish search and rescue plane spotted another boat carrying migrants about 80 nautical miles south of Gran Canaria, and a rescue boat was sent for them. Spain’s Maritime Rescue Service had previously received alerts for 200 people on four different migrant boats. They couldn’t confirm if the boat rescued Tuesday evening and the one spotted Wednesday was among those they had been searching for.

The Spanish archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean has become the main route for West African and Moroccan migrants and asylum-seekers trying to reach Europe. Around 2,600 people have survived the dangerous crossing and reached the Canaries by boat so far this year.

In 2020, some 23,000 people successfully crossed while 849 were reported dead or missing according to the U.N.’s migration agency “Missing Migrants Project.”

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