Ship carrying migrants docks in Canary Islands

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A small boat carrying 280 migrants has docked in Spain’s Canary Islands.

The ship arrived on Tuesday on the remote island of El Hierro, about 380 kilometers (238 miles) off the west coast of Africa.

Rescuers said the people on board, all from sub-Saharan Africa, were the largest number of people ever to arrive in the Canary Islands at one time.

Crossing the Canary Islands is one of the most common and dangerous routes for African migrants traveling to Europe.

Ship carrying migrants docks in Canary Islands

“I’ve never seen so many people on board,” the journalist and former migration adviser said on social media after the boat arrived.

According to the International Organization for Migration, 140 people have died or gone missing while trying to cross Europe since the beginning of the year.

The number of people using the route has risen in recent years as stricter controls to stop people crossing the Mediterranean from the northern coast of Africa have been put in place.

A total of 14,976 migrants arrived in the Canary Islands between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30 this year, a 19.8 percent increase from the same period in 2022, according to Spain’s Interior Ministry.

On Sunday, the Senegalese navy said they had intercepted four boats with more than 600 people on board in three days.

In August, at least 60 people are believed to have died on a boat eventually found near Cape Verde, an African island nation on the migrant route to the Canary Islands.

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