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47 migrants rescued 10 miles south of Gran Canaria, all of sub-saharan origins

47 migrants rescued 10 miles south of Gran Canaria, all of sub-saharan origins

Another boat adrift in the Atlantic was rescued this morning south of Gran Canaria, report sources from Spain’s Salvamento Maritimo (Marine Rescue) and Red Cross .

The patera (open boat) with 47 migrants on board was rescued in the early hours of this morning, at sea to the south of Gran Canaria, by the Salvamento Marítimo and transferred to the south of the island, a spokesman for the emergency service reported.

The boat was located by the Guardia Civil’s Integrated External Surveillance System (SIVE) at around 02:20, about 10 miles south of the island.

Salvamar Maritime Rescue vessel, The Talia, was deployed and reached the small boat about an hour later, moving the occupants on board to safety and towed the boat to the port of Arguineguín where they arrived at around 4:30 a.m.

Once there, they were treated by the Red Cross and one of them had to be transferred to a hospital centre, say sources from the NGO.

After being treated and assessed, the migrants are handed over to the National Police, who will ensure their quarantine as a result of the coronavirus risk,  Red Cross sources have reported.

This adds to the more than 2,200 migrants to have been rescued so far in 2020, representing a more than 8 fold increase in the total, reaching The Canary Islands, over this time last year.  As the mediterranean routes have all but shut down, so the Canary Islands Atlantic routes appear this year to have become a primary target for the people smuggling gangs operating out of West Africa and Western Sahara.  Calls for a serious increase in resources have been made on the Spanish government as the crises continue to grow, in parallel with the continuing State of Emergency declared over Corona Virus.

We need more resources available to help people on the ground here, and more efforts need to be made to support community development in countries of origin, and to discourage and stem the flow of migrants risking their lives and what little they have in these desperate attempts to escape abject poverty. How many do not get rescued at all? These are indeed difficult days.

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