According to the International Organisation for Migration, 850 migrants died or disappeared on the route to the Canary Islands in 2020
Around 40 migrants are feared dead after rescuers recovered a lone woman clinging to an overturned dinghy off the Canary Islands, Spain's Coastguard said Thursday.
The woman, who was found lying next to two bodies, was reported to be "in a bad state", a coastguard spokesman told AFP.
She told her rescuers she had begun the crossing from the African continent with "about 40 people".
The woman was airlifted to hospital in Las Palmas on the island of Gran Canaria.
The coastguard had been alerted by another boat which had spotted the woman about 250 kilometres from the Spanish archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa.
The two bodies found next to her on the overturned boat were also recovered and brought ashore, the spokesman said.
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Weather conditions were reported to be bad at the time.
Last year, more than 23,000 migrants reached the Canary Islands, eight times more than the previous year, according to the Spanish Interior Ministry.
In the first seven months of 2021, 7,531 migrants have arrived in the Canaries, more than twice as many as in the same period in 2020.
According to the International Organisation for Migration, 850 migrants died or disappeared on the route to the Canary Islands in 2020.
Arrivals of migrants in the Canaries, after a perilous crossing from North Africa, have increased dramatically since late 2019 after checks on Mediterranean routes were tightened.
The Spanish NGO Caminando Fronteras says at least 1,851 people lost their lives last year while attempting the crossing.