Migrants rescued off El Hierro Island Migrants rescued off El Hierro Island  (ANSA)

Migrants rescued from rubber dinghies off Canary Islands

At least 227 migrants have been rescued from boats off Spain's Canary Islands.

By Nathan Morley

Listen to Nathan Morley's report

Reports suggest the Coast Guard saved the migrants travelling on rubber dinghies in the Atlantic Ocean.

In another incident on Wednesday, more than 30 migrants are feared to have drowned after their dinghy sank off Gran Canaria.

In recent years, the problem of rickety, unseaworthy boats packed with migrants has become a serious concern for governments throughout the region.

The perilous Atlantic migration route is considered one of the worlds deadliest. United Nations figures suggest at least 500 migrants died or went missing on that journey last year.

Elsewhere, in the Eastern Mediterranean, emergency services rescued 45 Syrian migrants from two vessels in distress near the resort of Ayia Napa on Friday.

Last week, a migrant boat carrying hundreds of people sank off the coast of Greece, killing at least 78 people.

The United Nations estimates up to 500 people are still missing. Most of the 750 passengers were from Egypt, Syria and Pakistan.

Like the Atlantic route, the Mediterranean is considered a dangerous crossing for people seeking refuge in Europe.

The United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR say that so far this year, 72,778 refugees have arrived in Europe from the south, including 71,136 arrivals by sea to Italy, Greece, Spain, Malta and Cyprus.

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23 June 2023, 16:50