Published On: Fri, Jul 5th, 2024
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Canary Islands migrant crisis continues as 49 rescued from small boat off Fuerteventura | World | News

A small boat crammed full of 49 migrants was rescued by Spain’s Salvamento Marítimo in waters close to the Canary Islands.

An inflatable boat was spotted off the coast of Fuerteventura by two rescue ships at 8.20pm local time on Thursday.

Video images show the crew helping people to board one of the Spanish vessels from the distressed boat.

The migrants included three men of sub-Saharan origin, another 35 North Africans, as well as three women and eight children.

They were later taken to the Gran Tarajal port, where they disembarked. All of the migrants were said to be in good health.

The Canary Islands has been inundated with the arrival of illegal immigrants, most coming from Western Africa.

The islands have become the main gateway for illegal immigrants to Europe.

According to a report published by the EU’s border and coast guard agency, Frontex, January alone saw a 48 percent jump in illegal crossings on the previous month.

Spain’s government has come under increasing fire from its political opponents over its handling of the immigration crisis.

The right-wing Partido Popular urged the government to get to grips with the problem once and for all.

Miguel Tellado, a party spokesman, said in an interview with the Antena3 TV channel: “We ask the Spanish government to do its job and put a stop once and for all to this massive arrival of immigrants at our borders illegally and through mafias that are endangering the lives of these people.”

The party’s leader, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, stressed the need for Brussels to play a greater role in protecting Europe’s southern borders, which he described as a “sieve” for illegal immigration.

He claimed that Spain’s government had shown its total “incompetence” in dealing with the crisis that affects the Canary Islands every summer in particular.

Last year, over 56,850 irregular immigrants arrived in Spain. The overwhelming majority (90%) were men.

Undocumented children made up five percent of arrivals, while women accounted for the remainder.

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