Spanish coast guard abandons search for 35 missing migrants

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FILE PHOTO: A group of migrants arrives to the shore of Greece’s Kos island on a small dinghy from Turkey, on August 18, 2015 (AFP Photo/Louisa Gouliamaki)
Spain’s coast guard said Friday it has called off the search for 35 migrants missing at sea after their boat shipwrecked between Spain and Morocco.
“The search has ended and it will not be resumed,” a coast guard spokeswoman said, a day after rescuers plucked 15 migrants alive from the remains of the boat and found the bodies of four others.
The coastguard began looking for the stricken boat after receiving a call on Wednesday from an NGO based in Morocco which warned that a vessel loaded with migrants had departed from a beach near Al Hoceima.
A coastguard vessel spotted the troubled boat just after midday on Thursday, some 39 nautical miles (72 kilometres) northwest of the town of Al Hoceima in northern Morocco.
Two women and 13 men were clinging to what was left of the boat, which had lost its hull. Some of the migrants did not have life jackets.
The 15 rescued migrants, who were transported by the coastguard ship to the southern Spanish port of Malaga, said there had been 39 other people on board who fell overboard.
It is the most serious migrant boat accident off the coast of Spain this year and it came as at least 17 children and nine adults drowned when three boats sank en route from Turkey to Greece.
The migrants on the boat were from the Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Mali, Guinea and Cameroon, said Helena Maleno of the NGO which first sounded the alarm, Caminando Fronteras.
A total of 12 women were on board the boat, including two who were pregnant and who are among the missing, she added.
“We learned of the departure of the boat because we received calls …Read More

Source:: PM Newspaper