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Missing vessel carrying hundreds of migrants ‘possibly’ found

A fishing vessel with around 200 migrants on board which has been missing for nearly two weeks may have been located south of Gran Canaria, Spanish officials have said.

The crew on a Spanish reconnaissance plane spotted the vessel during an ongoing search for three missing boats.

The Spanish maritime rescue service said it was “possible” one of the missing vessels carrying the migrants had been found.

A rescue ship was on its way to the location, officials added.


“The plane has found a large boat with some 200 people on board, 71 miles to the south of Gran Canaria,” a spokesperson for the maritime service said.

Migrant aid group, Walking Borders, said on Sunday the fishing vessel and another two boats – one carrying about 65 people and the other with between 50 and 60 on board – had been missing for about two weeks since they left Senegal to try to reach Spain.

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On board a boat that rescued hundreds of migrants

Helena Maleno, of Walking Borders, said on Monday there had been no new information about the whereabouts of the three vessels.

The condition of the migrants was unknown.

The three boats left in late June from the village of Kafountine in southern Senegal to begin a journey of more than 1,000 miles to the Canary Islands.

The Atlantic migration route, typically used by migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, is one of the world’s deadliest.

Read more:
Analysis: Migration is a brutal throw of the dice
Highest number of people make Channel journey in single day so far in 2023

In 2022, at least 559 people died during attempts to reach the Canary Islands, according to the UN’s International Organisation for Migration.

Data from the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex, shows 1,135 migrants from Senegal have arrived in the Canaries so far this year.

The United Nations said last month up to 500 people were missing after an overcrowded fishing boat carrying migrants capsized in the Mediterranean Sea.

Officials said 78 people had died after the vessel got into difficulty and sank 45 miles off the coast of Greece.


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