68 Migrants Drifting at Sea Rescued by Cruise Ship Near Canary Islands

68 Migrants Drifting at Sea Rescued by Cruise Ship Near Canary Islands

According to a statement released on X by Spain’s maritime rescue department, a luxury cruise liner saved 68 migrants who were stranded off the coast of the Canary Islands on Wednesday.

Around 440 nautical miles, or about 815 kilometers, south of Tenerife, the bulk carrier Philipp Oldendorff saw a canoe-shaped boat adrift with passengers on board. The passenger ship Insignia was dispatched to the scene, and first aid was given to those afflicted, according to a statement from Salvamento Maritimo.

The Oceania Cruises-owned Insignia rescued 68 people in total and retrieved three bodies, according to the agency. them also stated that bad weather prevented them from recovering the remains of two people.

The crew of the Insignia announced on Thursday that one of the rescued migrants required evacuation due to their serious condition. According to the agency, he passed away before a search and rescue chopper could get to him.

Sub-Saharan Africa was the home of the 62 males, 3 women, and 3 minors who were rescued, as to the Insignia’s report to the agency.

“Safety of life at sea is of paramount importance for all seafarers,” an Oceania Cruises spokesperson stated.

“We can confirm that Insignia rescued 68 people from a vessel in distress between Cape Verde and Tenerife and bought them onboard for medical assistance and provided food, drinks, clothing and a safe place to rest. We have coordinated next steps with authorities in Tenerife, and they will be taking over the care of the rescued people,” the spokesperson continued.

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Currently completing its 180-day Around-the-World journey is the 670-guest Insignia.

The number of migrants arriving by sea has dramatically increased, particularly to the Canary Islands, according to data from Spain’s Interior Ministry.

Spain’s Interior Ministry reports that 23,037 migrants landed in Spain by sea between January 1 and June 15, up 122.6% from the same period the previous year. Of those, 18,977 have traveled by water to reach the Canary Islands, a 220.9% increase over the same time last year.

At least 5,000 migrants have perished trying to enter Spain this year between January and May, according to a report earlier this month by the Spanish NGO Caminando Fronteras. That is an average of 33 individuals every day.


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