152 African immigrants in four boats rescued in the last few hours in the Canaries

  • Maritime Rescue
  • 16-04-2024
  • National
  • Photo Credit: Efe
152 African immigrants in four boats rescued in the last few hours in the Canaries

In the last few hours, Maritime Rescue has rescued 152 occupants from three pateras (small wooden boats), including 22 women and 3 minors, disembarking them in Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, and Lanzarote. Additionally, they are currently leading another 150 people in three new assisted vessels to ports in the islands.

The Salvamar Macondo rescued and disembarked a group of 45 people, consisting of two Maghrebi men and 43 individuals of Sub-Saharan origin (30 men, 12 women, and one minor), at 03:15 this morning (Tuesday) at the port of Arguineguín in Gran Canaria.

During this rescue operation, which involved the collaboration of the "MSC Amsterdam," the Helimer 201 helicopter had to urgently evacuate a woman to a hospital in Gran Canaria due to her poor health condition, as reported to the EFE news agency by a Maritime Rescue spokesperson.

The Salvamar Izar disembarked another group of 59 people (47 men, 10 women, and two minors) late last night in Gran Tarajal, in the southeast of Fuerteventura, whom they rescued with the assistance of the fishing vessel "Egole" from a zodiac inflatable boat which had departed from Dakhla in the western Sahara.

Meanwhile, the Salvamar Alnair, with the help of the vessel "HC Opal," rescued another 48 Maghrebi people travelling in a patera, whom they escorted to Arrecife in Lanzarote.

The emergency services are anticipating the arrival of another 150 people shortly, who are the occupants of three more vessels being assisted by maritime rescue in Canary Islands waters, to the capital of Lanzarote.


The Brazilian authorities are investigating the origin of a boat that arrived on the coast of the state of Para on Sunday with twenty bodies on board. Local fishermen spotted the cayuco in a remote place about 300 kilometres from Belem, the capital.

Some media in Brazil have suggested that it could be a group of Haitian refugees, but the appearance of the boat (elongated, with a white hull and blue interior) has made numerous families in Africa believe that it is a cayuco from their region of Mauritania, said a spokesperson for Caminando Fronteras, a group that regularly notifies the Spanish authorities of immigrant departures and keeps its own count of lost boats.

In 2023, Caminando Fronteras reported 6,007 deaths or disappearances on boats bound for the Canary Islands, 395 of them in cayucos that set sail from Mauritania.

In the first three months of this year, from January to the end of March, the organisation is aware of 22 Mauritanian boats lost on the Atlantic Route, with more than 1,500 people on board.

On the migratory route from West Africa to the Canary Islands, there are frequent cases of boats or cayucos that get shipwrecked on the high seas without any of their occupants surviving due to dehydration and sunstroke, but it is also common for some boats to drift and be dragged southwards and to the west by the currents towards south America.

152 African immigrants in four boats rescued in the last few hours in the Canaries