Barcelona, ââ(UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – October 17, 2021): Spanish emergency services recovered the bodies of four other migrants on Saturday in its coastal waters, the coast guard said, but 17 others are still missing.
The latest findings bring the number of bodies found to eight after a boat carrying migrants that was spotted west of Cape Trafalgar in Spain sank on Thursday.
“During the day today, four bodies were found,” said a spokesperson for the coast guard.
The ship was first spotted about 70 kilometers (40 miles) off Cape Trafalgar by a passing merchant vessel which sounded the alarm, and rescue teams were mobilized overnight Thursday through Friday. .
Two men were found alive on board the boat while a woman was out of the water. Survivors said the boat left for Spain with 28 people on board.
It is not known which nationalities were on board the boat or where they left on the North African coast.
Helicopters and several ships scoured the waters on Friday and Saturday but found no more survivors.
The Coast Guard statement said the search would resume on Sunday.
This kind of operation is quite common off the southern coast of Spain, targeting migrants trying to make the dangerous crossing from the North African coast, mainly from Morocco or Algeria.
Migrant boats are tempted in part by the narrowness of the Strait of Gibraltar, a 13 kilometer (eight mile) wide waterway that separates Europe and Africa, despite strong currents that sink many boats.
More than 27,000 migrants arrived by sea in mainland Spain and the Balearic and Canary Islands between January and the end of September, an increase of 54% compared to the same period in 2020, according to figures from the Ministry of the Interior.
The International Organization for Migration reports that at least 1,025 migrants died trying to reach Spain in 2021, making it “the deadliest year” on the migration route.