Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 19 September 2020

Baby born on migrant boat rescued near Canary Islands

The child was picked up alongside another 86 people

The Canary Islands are becoming a new gateway for migrants trying to reach Europe. Reuters
The Canary Islands are becoming a new gateway for migrants trying to reach Europe. Reuters

Spain's maritime service has rescued a baby born on a flimsy boat headed for the Canary Islands along with another 86 migrants overnight.

All of them from sub-Saharan Africa, they were travelling on three boats which were picked up just south of the island of Gran Canaria,

"A new-born baby was rescued and it seems that the mother gave birth in the boat just beforehand," a spokesperson told AFP, adding that the child was doing well.

There were 54 people in the first two boats which were picked up on Thursday evening about 60 nautical miles south of Gran Canaria, and rescuers came across another vessel carrying 33 people as they were just off the island, she said.

Among those rescued were 30 women, six babies and four other children, while the rest were men, with all taken to the southern port of Arguinerin.

In January, the number of migrants reaching the Canaries soared to 708 - 18 times the level of a year ago when it stood at 40, government figures showed, raising fears of a resurgence of migrant traffic to the Atlantic islands, a route taken by tens of thousands of people a decade ago.

As well as the Canaries route, other migrants have sought to sail to mainland Spain from Algeria's northern coast.

Updated: February 14, 2020 03:56 PM

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