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Dozens Feared Dead As Migrant Boat Sinks Off Canary Islands

Spanish authorities and humanitarian organizations are reporting a devastating incident in the Atlantic Ocean, where dozens feared dead as migrant boat sinks off Canary Islands.

Daisy-Mae Schmitt
Jun 23, 202337 Shares6094 Views
Spanish authorities and humanitarian organizations are reporting a devastating incident in the Atlantic Ocean, where dozens feared dead as migrant boat sinks off Canary Islands.
While rescue workers have managed to retrieve the bodies of a minor and a man, and rescue 24 survivors, the exact number of casualties remains unknown, raising concerns about the fate of more than 30 individuals.
This tragic event comes as Europe faces increased scrutiny over its handling of migration, following a recent boat sinking off the Greek coast.

Conflicting Reports And Desperate Calls For Help

Walking Borders and Alarm Phone, two organizations dedicated to monitoring migrant boats and providing assistance, have offered differing accounts of the incident.
According to Walking Borders, 39 people, including four women and a baby, have tragically lost their lives. In contrast, Alarm Phone has reported that 35 people are still missing.
These organizations rely on distress calls from migrants or their relatives to track and respond to emergencies at sea.
The ill-fated boat sank approximately 100 miles southeast of Gran Canaria on Wednesday. Concerns have been raised about the delayed response and coordination of rescue efforts.
Helena Maleno Garzon of Walking Borders expressed frustration over the prolonged wait for assistance, emphasizing the dangers of having dozens of people stranded in an inflatable boat at risk of sinking.
It's torture to have 60 people, including six women and a baby, waiting for more than 12 hours for a rescue in a flimsy inflatable boat that can sink.- Helena Maleno Garzon of Walking Borders
Reports indicate that a Spanish rescue service ship, the Guardamar Caliope, was in close proximity to the distressed dinghy on Tuesday evening.
However, Moroccan officials took over the operation, dispatching a patrol boat that arrived 10 hours later on Wednesday morning. Questions have been raised regarding the handover and the reasons for the delayed response.

Two confirmed dead, over 30 believed missing in migrant boat tragedy

Urgent Pleas For Coordinated Action And Support

Angel Victor Torres, the leader of the Canary Islands region, has labeled the incident a "tragedy" and called on the European Union to establish a comprehensive migration policy that offers coordinated and supportive responses to the ongoing migration challenges.
The Canary Islands, although geographically part of Africa's western coast, fall under Spanish jurisdiction and serve as a destination for many migrants attempting to reach mainland Europe.

The Deadliest Migration Route And Ongoing Rescues

The Western Africa-Atlantic migration route, which encompasses the Canary Islands, is recognized as one of the world's most perilous paths.
According to the UN's International Organization for Migration (IOM), at least 543 migrants perished or went missing on this route in 2022.
Disturbingly, the IOM acknowledges that these figures are likely underestimated due to data limitations.
The majority of migrants undertaking this dangerous journey come from countries such as Morocco, Mali, Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire, and other parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.
In a separate operation, Spanish authorities recently rescued over 160 individuals from three other boats near Lanzarote and Gran Canaria.

Greek Boat Tragedy And Ongoing Investigation

This latest incident follows the tragic sinking of a migrant boat off the Greek coast last week, resulting in the deaths of at least 78 individuals.
The United Nations' human rights office has reported that up to 500 people remain missing in connection with the incident.
Concerns have been raised regarding the Greek coastguard's account of the event, with evidence emerging that casts doubt on their assertion that the boat was headed for Italy and did not require immediate rescue.
The recent string of migrant boat disasters underscores the urgent need for international cooperation and comprehensive solutions to address the challenges faced by migrants risking their lives in search of safety and a better future.

Final Words

The tragic sinking of a migrant boat off the Canary Islands has left dozens feared dead, shedding light on Europe's response to migration.
Spanish authorities and humanitarian organizations are working to rescue survivors and determine the exact number of casualties.
The incident has sparked calls for coordinated action and support, as well as scrutiny over the delayed rescue efforts.
This tragedy comes shortly after a similar boat sinking off the Greek coast, emphasizing the urgent need for comprehensive solutions to address the ongoing challenges faced by migrants.
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