The boat carrying the African migrants had been drifting for about a week in the Atlantic about 40 miles to the south of Gran Canaria, officials say.

More than twice number of refugees from West Africa travelled to the Canaries archipelago between January and September 30 compared to last year, according Spanish government data.
More than twice number of refugees from West Africa travelled to the Canaries archipelago between January and September 30 compared to last year, according Spanish government data. (Reuters)

Spanish coastguards have found the bodies of eight African migrants in a boat which was drifting in the sea off Spain's Gran Canaria island. 

Sixty-two migrants, all of them men except a 12-year-old boy, were rescued by coastguards, the Canary Islands government said on Sunday.

Three people who were critically ill were flown by helicopter to a hospital in Gran Canaria. 

Nine others were treated by the Spanish coastguard as they were taken to the island.

Coastguards also intercepted another migrant boat on Sunday carrying 35 men and one woman, a few miles off the Spanish island.

More than 13,100 migrants have made the perilous journey from West Africa to the Canaries archipelago between January and Sept 30 this year, according to Spanish government data, more than double the number in the equivalent period in 2020.

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Source: Reuters