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Spain: 14 people rescued in Balearic waters, according to balance corrected by authorities

Fourteen people were rescued on Monday in the Mediterranean, in the Balearic archipelago, announced the government delegation, which rectified its balance after announcing that eleven bodies had been recovered from the sea.

The police and rescue services came to the scene and rescued “a total of 14 people in the vicinity of [la isla de] Cabrera, all of them alive, “said the government delegation at night, in a message sent to the press.

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The rescue services continue with the search for three people who could have been on board the same “boat type patera”, which migrants often use to cross the Mediterranean.

The ship’s occupants claimed that it had 17 people on board and that some of them jumped into the sea, the government delegation explained.

Of those rescued, three were found at sea and evacuated by helicopters, while another nine were found aboard the boat. Two others were rescued “by a yacht, whose crew members are those who have given Maritime Rescue the notice of sighting,” said the source.

“No fatality has been located, for the moment,” the delegation insisted in its statement.

When contacted by AFP, the authorities mentioned the prevailing “confusion” and “communication problems.”

In the afternoon, the delegation reported at first that a sailboat “to the west of the island of Cabrera” had found “about 17” bodies shortly after 2:00 p.m. GMT. Later, he communicated a “provisional balance” of “three rescued people and 11 recovered bodies.”

Marga Morcillo, from the Red Cross, told AFPTV that they had treated eleven people, all men, “most of them Algerians” and specified that three of them were taken to hospital for “significant burns, dehydration and wounds.”

“They have told us that they have been at sea for twelve days and that there were 17 [a bordo], and we do not have more information at the moment, “he added.

2021, the “deadliest year”

This tragedy adds to the growing number of shipwrecks registered in this area of ​​the Spanish coast in recent months. When controls were tightened in the Strait of Gibraltar, which separates Spain and Morocco, the migratory route that starts from Algeria through the Mediterranean was gaining strength, according to NGOs and authorities.

In mid-September, the bodies of eight migrants who left Algeria or Morocco, including that of a child, were found on the beaches of the province of Almería, in the southeast.

Last week, a pregnant Algerian woman and her five children were rescued off the coast of Alicante, a little further north, where within hours 91 migrants arrived in six boats from Algeria, according to emergency teams.

In total, 13,320 migrants have reached the continental coasts of Spain or the Balearic Islands between January and the end of September, 2,104 (19%) more than in the same period of the previous year, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of the Interior.

Another 13,118 people reached the Atlantic archipelago of the Canary Islands, which is more than double the 6,124 arrivals in the same period of 2020.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) considers 2021 “the deadliest year on the migration route to Spain”, since at least 1,025 people lost their lives on their journey to mainland Spain or the archipelagos of the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands.


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