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6 of the 68 migrants saved by a cruise ship on route to Spain’s Canaries have died


 

Spanish officials and the cruise operator announced on Thursday that 68 migrants who were trying to reach the Spanish Canary Islands in a fishing boat that had stalled in choppy waters were saved by a luxurious cruise ship.

In the event, six people lost their lives.

In recent years, the archipelago has emerged as the primary entrance point for undocumented migrants from Africa into Spain, and it is also the deadliest route. The first five months of 2024 saw up to 5,000 migrant deaths at sea along that route, according to a report released last week by the migration rights group Walking Borders.

The Spanish Coast Guard said in a statement that bulk carrier Philipp Oldendorff saw the boat drifting 440 nautical miles (815 km) south of Tenerife on Wednesday and gave the migrants first aid while diverting the cruise ship Insignia to the location to retrieve the survivors.

Oceania Cruises, based in Miami, owns the Insignia, which also recovered three bodies from the vessel. Two more bodies could not be recovered due to bad weather, so the ship left a locating device to help with the search.

Starting in January, the small, luxurious cruise ship with a 670-passenger capacity is travelling around the world for 180 days.

Oceania Cruises (owned by the Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings NCLH.N. company.) spokesperson stated that “safety of life at sea is of paramount importance for all seafarers,”

“We can confirm that the Insignia rescued 68 people from a vessel in distress between Cape Verde and Tenerife, brought them onboard for medical assistance and provided food, drinks, clothing and a safe place to rest,”

On Thursday, a Spanish coast guard ship was travelling from the Canary Islands to meet the Insignia and subsequently find the shipwreck.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)


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