Spanish Coastguards Rescue 124 Migrants off Canary Islands

Gran Canaria, Spain – Spanish coastguards conducted a rescue operation to save 124 migrants, including young children and a person requiring a wheelchair, from two wooden boats in the waters off the Canary Islands on Thursday. The Red Cross reported that one boat, carrying 66 individuals, was located 10 nautical miles south of Gran Canaria. The second boat, carrying 58 people including two women, was found nearby.

According to the EU border agency Frontex, the Atlantic route to the Canary Islands is currently the most active route for irregular migration from West Africa into the European Union. The number of individuals embarking on this hazardous journey between January 1 and March 15 reached 12,393, a significant increase from 2,178 during the same period last year, as reported by Spain’s Interior Ministry earlier this month.

Situated around 100 miles (160 km) from West Africa at the closest point, the Canary Islands serve as a destination for migrants seeking to reach European shores. All rescued migrants were transported to Gran Canaria for assistance.