11 bodies found at sea off Spain's Balearic Isles

Reuters file photo
Reuters file photo

Madrid - No immediate confirmation that they were migrants


Published: Mon 4 Oct 2021, 8:28 PM

Spanish rescuers found 11 bodies floating in the sea off the Balearic Islands on Monday, pulling another three people to safety, a government spokesman said.

“Three people were rescued alive and 11 bodies have been recovered,” a government delegation spokesman said, after initially saying that 17 bodies had been spotted floating in the water just west of the island of Cabrera.

The Salvamento Maritimo coastguard had quickly launched a rescue operation after being tipped off by a sailing boat just after 1400 GMT which said it had spotted “about 17 lifeless bodies in the sea”.

There was no immediate confirmation they were migrants but growing numbers have tried to reach the Baleares or the Spanish mainland by boat in recent weeks, with the coastguard last week rescuing 277 people over a 24-hour period.

The sea route is fraught with danger, with more than 1,000 people dying en route to the Spanish mainland or its Canary or Balearic Isles in 2021 in what the International Organization for Migration has called “the deadliest year on the migratory route to Spain”.

More news from Europe