The Spanish navy joined the search yesterday for dozens of African migrants missing after their boat capsized near the coastline of the Spanish island Perejil, west of Ceuta, the defence minister said.
Eleven migrants have been found alive so far out of a possible 40 to 60 trying to reach the Spanish coast, while eight bodies have been recovered by a rescue team consisting of civil guards, coast guards and the Red Cross, Reuters reports.
“Unfortunately, these sort of events happen and of course we have all the coast guards as well as the Spanish armed forces involved in this sad and tragic search for the migrants,” Defence Minister Carme Chacon told national television.
The migrants’ flimsy vessel was found last week near Perejil, just off the northern coast of Morocco, following an hour’s search after the migrants phoned in their location just after 0500 GMT.
Most of the migrants were from Nigeria, according to online media reports.
Tens of thousands of migrants have successfully reached the Spanish coasts in recent years, while thousands more are believed to have drowned or died of exposure in the search of jobs and a better life in Europe.