Madrid, Europe Brief News – At least 319 migrants were rescued while trying to cross the Atlantic Ocean in several boats.
Emergency services on the Canary Islands reported that 24 children were among those rescued.
But the NGO Walking Borders says that at least 18 people travelling on one of the migrants’ boats had died.
“Rescue means were activated too late despite having the boat’s location,” Helena Maleno, the NGO’s founder, wrote in a tweet.
Spanish rescue vessels located the boats in different locations overnight on Tuesday, a Maritime spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added that rescuers did not find any bodies on or near the vessels. But he said that nine people are alive, clinging to a capsized boat near the island of Lanzarote.
The Canary Islands’ 112 emergency service said that nine adults and one baby are among the 319 survivors. They remain in local health facilities on the archipelago. Most of those rescued are from both northern and central Africa.
Last month, 27 people died when their inflatable dinghy sank in the Channel between France and the UK.
The number of people attempting the crossing has been growing, with more than 26,000 people arriving in the UK so far this year, more than double last year’s total.
More than 2,000 asylum seekers and refugees remained on Poland-Belarus borders for several weeks. This came after Polish authorities refused to let them in.
Their numbers have unprecedentedly risen over the past few weeks amid tension between Belarus and Poland.