52 people feared dead as boat capsizes in Spain

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More than 50 people are feared dead after a boat capsized in the Atlantic Ocean about 220 kilometres off Spain’s Canary Islands.

Spain’s Maritime Rescue Service said a 30-year-old woman was the sole survivor saved yesterday from the sinking dinghy, which had left Africa a week earlier carrying 53 migrants and refugees.

A merchant ship had earlier spotted the vessel south of the Canary Islands and alerted Spanish emergency services.

A rescue service official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told newsmen that the woman was clinging to the sinking craft with a dead man and a dead woman next to her.

She told rescuers that the inflatable boat had embarked from the Western Sahara coast and that the passengers were from Ivory Coast.

According to the United Nations’ migration agency, at least 250 people died on the route to the Spanish archipelago in the first six months of 2021.