MADRID: The bodies of four migrants were found off the coast of Spain’s holiday island of Lanzarote on Thursday, bringing to nine the number confirmed dead when their boat capsized, local officials said.
Rescuers managed to save four migrants, while the bodies of five others were recovered, on Wednesday when the boat hit rocks in rough weather and sank as it tried to reach the island.
“According to the survivors, 15 people were on board the boat and emergency services continue to search the area,” a spokesman for the local government of Lanzarote said.
Two helicopters and several boats were taking part in the search, which was hampered by stormy seas, with waves of four to five metres, said Isidoro Blanco, the spokesman for emergency services on the island, one of Spain’s Canary Islands.
About 100 kilometres of Atlantic Ocean separates the Spanish archipelago from the coast of Morocco.
At least 80 people have died or have gone missing this year trying to reach the Canary islands from northwest Africa, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).