Barcelona, Dec. 31, 2020 About 150 African migrants have been rescued from three boats travelling in the waters of the Atlantic off Spain’s Canary Islands, Spanish rescue services said on Thursday.
The migrants were brought ashore for care and registration, the Salvamento Maritimo sea rescue organisation wrote on Twitter.
The number of people risking the life-threatening crossing from Africa to the Spanish archipelago has risen sharply this year.
According to the UN Refugee Agency, 22,249 migrants have been counted on the route since the beginning of the year.
In the previous year, there were just under 2,700.
Exactly how many have died at sea is unknown, but the UN believes there have been more than 400 fatalities.
The Spanish Canary Islands are located in the Atlantic Ocean, about 100 kilometres from the coast of West Africa.
The open Atlantic is dangerous for the small boats use by migrants, most of which are powered only by outboard motors.
Anyone who misses the islands or gets lost has little chance of survival.