Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain, Mar 26 (efe-epa).- Three people died and another 41 were rescued alive from the sea on Friday after a migrant boat overturned off the coast of the Spanish island of Tenerife just as a rescue bid got underway.
The Salvamar Alpheratz, the first rescue ship to arrive in the area, headed to the port of Los Cristianos with one dead and 36 survivors, the Spanish maritime rescue service reported.
The fishing vessel “El Fari” was the first to spotted the dinghy and arrived at the Porís de Abona dock with two dead and five survivors.
In Granada, Maritime Rescue transferred 46 migrants to the port of Motril on Friday morning in a separate operation off the mainland.
The group was rescued from four boats that had departed from the north of Morocco on Thursday.
More than 30 people have died so far this year on the so-called “Atlantic migration route” when trying to reach the coasts of the Canary Islands from Africa.
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has been warning for months that this route, which 23,023 people took last year, has become one of the deadliest in the world.
These migrants face a dangerous voyage that can exceed 1,000 kilometres, with up to 10 or 12 days aboard precarious boats, not prepared for navigation in the open ocean. EFE-EPA