Spain: Wooden boat carrying 170 migrants reached El Hierro island

Canary Island, Spain: A wooden boat carrying more than 170 people reached the island of El Hierro in the Canary Islands on October 31.

The migrants had sailed across the Atlantic from the coast of West Africa. Their boat (cayuco) was intercepted south of El Hierro by a Civil Guard patrol boat.

Several people received help from the Red Cross teams when they arrived at La Restinga Port.

On Monday, October 30, three people died on board a boat crammed with 209 people. Spanish authorities went to their rescue 15 kilometres south of Tenerife.

They discovered the bodies of two people who had died on the boat. A third person died upon arrival at Tenerife.

More than 23,500 people have reached the Canary Islands by boat from West Africa so far this year, 8,561 in the first two weeks of October, according to figures from the Spanish interior ministry.

The Spanish government has taken steps to prevent people from boarding boats in Senegal, the leading country of migrant departures for the Canaries.

On Tuesday, it confirmed the delivery of drones and other equipment to Senegal to help detect boats and to carry out patrols.

It has also begun direct flights from the Canary Islands to Senegal’s capital, Dakar, and is sending people back whom it claims do not have valid grounds to claim asylum.

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