A boat carrying around 40 migrants and refugees has sunk off the coast of Mauritania, leaving only one survivor, the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR has announced.
“New shipwreck off the coast of Nouadhibou #Mauritania of approximately 40 persons on board, there is one survivor (from Guinea),” tweeted UNHCR special envoy Vincent Cochetel.
New shipwreck off the coast of Nouadhibou #Mauritania of approximately 40 persons on board, there is one survivor (from Guinea). UNHCR & IOM along with authorities & partners are trying to step up efforts to prevent such tragedies, but traffickers keep lying to their clients.
— vincent cochetel (@cochetel) August 6, 2020
The route is seeing a fresh surge of illegal immigrants after attempts became scarcer when Spain stepped up patrols in the mid-2000s.
The boat was carrying migrants and refugees, a UNHCR spokesman confirmed.
Spanish Interior Ministry data shows that nearly 2,800 illegal migrants arrived by boat in the Canary Islands between Jan. 1 and July 14, five times as many as in the same period in 2019.
In 2019,at least 62 people drowned off the Mauritanian coast and around 80 had to swim for shore after the boat carrying them northwards from Gambia capsized