Two people, including a four-year-old child, have died aboard a migrant boat off the coast of the Canary Islands.
Spain’s rescue services said the bodies of the migrants were found on Thursday aboard an inflatable boat off the island of Lanzarote.
A total of 51 people boarded the makeshift boat from the African coast to reach Europe. Another 27 migrants were found on another boat nearby.
Another person was evacuated by helicopter because he “suffered from chest pains,” authorities told AFP.
NGOs say the number of women and children trying to cross the Atlantic to the Canary Islands is on the rise.
According to the Spanish Ministry of the Interior, 9,308 migrants arrived in the Spanish archipelago this year, up 27% compared to the same period in 2021.
Last year, 4,404 migrants died or went missing at sea trying to reach Spain, according to the NGO Caminando Fronteras, more than double the number in 2020.
Last year, more than 40,000 migrants successfully reached Spanish waters.