On Sunday, the Spanish Maritime Rescue Services rescued 163 sub-Saharan migrants in waters near the islands of Lanzarote and Gran Canaria in the Atlantic Ocean.
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The immigrants traveled in a rubber boat and two precarious, small boats. The first boat was carrying 42 men and 9 women, who were rescued by the Gran Canaria Coast Guard early in the day.
Shortly after, Maritime Rescue located an inflatable boat bound for Lanzarote with 45 men, 12 women, and one minor.
In a third rescue operation, Spanish authorities brought 48 men, 3 women, and 3 minors ashore.
Spain's Interior Ministry recalled that 1,292 undocumented migrants arrived in January. Compared to the same month in 2022, this figure represents a 69.3 percent decrease in the irregular migratory flow.
Despite this decline, the number of migrants who died trying to reach the Spanish coast remains alarming. In 2022, at least 2,390 migrants died while trying to reach Spain through various maritime routes.
Among them, the Atlantic route to the Canary Islands remains the deadliest route for the fourth consecutive year, the NGO Caminando Fronteras said, adding that 1,784 migrants died in such a route in 2022.