Migrants wait to receive attention from the Red Cross on December 9, 2016 in El Tarajal, Ceuta, near the Moroccan border
Two women from sub-Saharan Africa drowned Saturday as they tried to reach the Spanish territory of Ceuta, in northern Morocco, by sea, authorities said at a time when migrant deaths are increasing in the Mediterranean.
The central government office in Ceuta said a small inflatable boat with a motor, carrying four migrants on board, was discovered in trouble off the coast of Spanish territory early on Saturday.
The boat threw „the water to its occupants before reaching the Benzu beach due to not being able to approach the coast due to bad conditions of the sea,“ he said in a statement.
Two of them, both women, drowned while two others, a man and a woman, managed to reach the coast, where they were taken care of by lifeguards, he added.
In 2017, Spain consolidated itself as the third entry point for illegal immigrants by sea in Europe, although far behind Italy and Greece, adding according to data from Frontex, about 22,900.
This year about 3,100 migrants arrived in Spain and at least 102 died in the attempt, according to the International Organization for Migration.
Of the deadly accidents known to the AFP, the Spanish coastguards found the bodies of three people on board a ship full of immigrants trying to cross the Mediterranean last month.
The Moroccan rescue services also recovered the bodies of 16 migrants off the coast of the other Spanish territory of Melilla in northern Morocco earlier this month.
In January, seven African immigrants drowned or died of hypothermia, exhaustion and hunger while trying to reach the Canary Islands.