Boat carrying record 280 migrants reaches Canary Islands


An overcrowded boat carrying around 280 people arrived at the Canary Islands on October 3, reports France 24. 

In what was a record number of migrant numbers entering the archipelago at one time, The vessel was boarded by 278 migrants, predominantly of sub-Saharan African origin. 

They were attended to by rescuers following their arrival. 

Spanish media noted that the boat arrived at the port of La Restinga, a district belonging to the municipality of El Pinar de El Hierro. 

The Islands prove popular amongst African migrants who attempt to reach the European continent as local authorities have been patrolling the Mediterranean Sea more meticulously over recent months. The Canary route appears to be the best alternative as a means of getting to European shores. 

Despite the tighter controls in the Med, 186,000 people have successfully crossed it this year according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The route is becoming increasingly dangerous as can be seen from death toll. Around 2,500 have died in 2023 alone. 

Of the 186,000 migrants reaching Europe, 130,000 people landed in Italy (83%). This is despite Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni’s anti-immigration rhetoric. The far-right leader admitted that she and her government have struggled to tackle the high numbers coming to the country, particularly those entering illegally.  

Nearly 15,000 migrants have made the journey across to The Canaries this year. 2022’s total was 15,682. 


Read Also: Italy’s PM says country hasn’t tackled migration issue


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