Woman, child found dead in migrant boat off Spain

MADRID (AP) — The bodies of a woman and a child were found in a rubber dinghy packed with migrants that was intercepted by authorities near Spain’s Canary Islands, a Maritime Rescue services spokesman said Friday.

Spain’s state news agency Efe cited local officials on the Canary Islands as saying it appeared the woman and the 4-year-old girl were squashed by the number of the people in the boat.

It wasn’t immediately known if the child and woman were related.

Rescue services found the bodies after intercepting the dinghy Thursday evening off the coast of Lanzarote, located off the northwest coast of Africa, a spokesman at the Maritime Rescue service’s central office in Madrid said. He was speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to be cited by name.

The boat was carrying some 50 sub-Saharan migrants and is believed to have set sail from near the southwestern Moroccan city of Tantan, near Lanzarote. It was spotted by a passing fishing boat. One man had to be airlifted to a Canary Island hospital after the migrants were taken from the dinghy.

Another dinghy carrying 27 sub-Saharan migrants was picked up in the same area on Thursday and one other, carrying some 50 migrants, was spotted Friday morning.

The voyage across the Atlantic to the Canary Islands is one of the most dangerous migration routes in the world, authorities and rights groups say, with trips in often overloaded boats taking more than a week to reach the Spanish archipelago and European soil.

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