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Migrant boat sinks off Spain's Canary Islands, dozens possibly lost

At least one migrant aid group said relatives on board frantically called them saying the boat lost its engine power and was drifting.
Migrant boat sinks off Spain's Canary Islands, dozens possibly lost
Posted at 5:28 PM, Jun 22, 2023

Spanish authorities and aid groups feared dozens had drowned off the coast of Spain as a boat with migrants sank in the waters of the coast of the Canary Islands. 

Two bodies, including that of a young boy, were recovered in search and rescue operations. 

At least 35 others were thought to have died in the accident. 

A spokesperson for the group Maritime Rescue said emergency crews found "the lifeless body of a minor" and the body of a man. 

Moroccan authorities reported that 24 people were saved. 

The Spanish newspaper El Pais reported that, while a Spanish plane detected the boat on Tuesday night, it wasn't until 6:20 a.m. on Wednesday, over 10 hours later, that Moroccan authorities began rescue operations. 

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Aid workers questioned why the rescue operation was conducted by Morocco when the craft was in Spanish waters. 

The migrants were in an inflatable vessel that was headed towards the Canary Islands when it sank. 

Spain's interior ministry said nearly 6,000 migrants have arrived to the Canary Islands by boat since the start of the year, and up until June 15. 

While that number appears high, it is still reportedly a 31% decline from the same time last year, a journalist for CNN in Spain reported

Just days before, a 305-foot luxury yacht had to step in to rescue 100 desperate migrants who were on a boat sailing from Libya across the Mediterranean. As many as 650 men, children and women drowned when the vessel sank off the coast of Greece. Greek authorities recovered at least 78 bodies in the water, and were still searching for more. 

Law enforcement in Greece arrested nine men from Egypt, accusing them of causing the disaster and illegally transporting migrants. 

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