Over 4,000 migrants died or disappeared trying to reach Spain by sea in 2021, twice as many as in the previous year, a migrant rights group says.
Migrant arrivals in Spain’s Canary Islands in the Atlantic have increased since late 2019 after increased patrols along Europe’s southern coast dramatically reduced crossings to the continent via the Mediterranean.
This route is fraught with dangers due to strong currents and the greater distances involved.
A total of 4,404 migrants perished or vanished in attempts to reach Spain last year, up from 2,170 in 2020, according to Spanish non-governmental organization Caminando Fronteras, which tracks data from boats in distress.
That is the highest yearly number since the group started keeping records in 2015.
The bodies of the vast majority of migrants, 94 percent, were never found so they are counted as missing.
Over 90 percent of the deaths or disappearances last year, 4,016,…