Spain: 4 bodies retrieved from migrant boat, 1 man rescued

MADRID (AP) — Spain´s marine rescue service said Sunday it picked up the bodies of four people from a rubber dinghy that was adrift in waters off northwest Africa and is believed to have been carrying more than 30 people.

A merchant ship rescued one person after it spotted the boat Saturday about 280 kilometers (150 miles) south of the Canary Islands archipelago.

The marine rescue service sent a helicopter to take the man from the ship to the Spanish island of Gran Canaria, where he was treated in a hospital.

Spanish state news agency Efe said the man, from the Ivory Coast, told rescue services that there had been 34 people on the boat when it set sail nine days ago.

Thousands of migrants from northwest and sub-Saharan African countries try to reach Spain by boat each year. Many die in the attempt.

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 islands and European soil.


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