Seven die as migrant boat capsizes off coast of Lanzarote

Not less than seven people have died after a migrant boat carrying more than 30 people hit rocks close to a port in Lanzarote.

The boat was one of 12 intercepted overnight. Some 300 people in other boats were rescued, but one died later.

The emergency services said the Lanzarote boat crashed into pier rocks on the north of the island and overturned.

Video showed rescue workers pulling young men in T-shirts from the water in the dark, and others sitting on the rocks.

The bodies of the seven people who died were found overnight, but a search operation is continuing.

Rescuers said many of the migrants were from northwest African countries and had set sail from Morocco several days ago.

Many of the rescued were taken to the Arguineguín dock on the southwestern coast of Gran Canaria, where several thousand people are being kept, some in tents.

Spain has promised to set up more tents to accommodate the people arriving. Politicians have rebuffed accusations of poor preparation and management in dealing with the migrant arrivals.

Many of the migrants are staying in hotels that are currently empty due to the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 18,000 people fleeing poverty, violence and other circumstances have arrived in the Canary Islands this year, a 1,000% increase from the same period in 2019.

More than 500 have died while making the crossing. Around half of the arrivals – and most of the deaths – have been in the past 30 days, a spike that has strained resources on the archipelago.

Sky’s Alex Rossi travelled to Gran Canaria where he met migrants who have risked everything to get to Europe.

Ousman, from The Gambia, paid €2,000 (£1,779) to board an unseaworthy vessel, which was packed with people, for a weeklong, 60-mile journey across dangerous seas.

He told Sky News: “I’m sacrificing my life to cross the sea to be here. It is very risky. The boat have a lot of people, many people. Somebody dead, somebody sick.”

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