More than 110 migrants arrive on Spain’s Canary Islands

A pregnant woman and three babies among those on board

epa09278592 Several migrants disembark in the port in Gran Tarajal, Fuerteventura island, southwestern Spain, 16 June 2021 (issued on 17 June 2021). Spanish authorities rescued 54 migrants off the coasts of Fuerteventura.  EPA/Carlos de Saa

At least 111 migrants, including three babies, arrived on Spain’s Canary Islands via two boats late on Wednesday.

Local authorities said one vessel arrived on Lanzarote with 57 people on board, including 10 women, a young girl and the three babies. Among the group was a pregnant woman, who has been transferred to a local hospital.

A separate inflatable boat carrying 54 migrants had earlier been rescued by Spanish authorities south of Fuerteventura. One woman required medical attention.

The arrivals come two days after the Spanish coastguard intercepted a boat with 27 migrants on board north-east of Lanzarote.

In 2020, a record 23,000 migrants took the journey from north-west Africa to the Canary Islands, compared with about 2,700 the previous year.

The migrants are primarily from Algeria and Morocco, but some are from Mali, Guinea and the Ivory Coast.

More than 5,800 migrants have arrived on the Canary Islands this year.

The UN said deaths continue to rise among those taking the Canary Islands route. That has partly been blamed on the long journeys, which can be more than 1,000 kilometres.

"Boats may be adrift for days, running out of water and food," said the UN's refugee and migration agencies.