200 people were on a boat from Senegal that went missing off the Canary Islands.

Rescuers from Spain are looking for a boat with at least 200 African refugees who went missing more than a week ago. The boat was last seen near the Canary Islands.

The fishing boat left from Kafountine, a coastal town in southern Senegal that is about 1,700 km (1,057 miles) from Tenerife, according to the help group Walking Borders.

Spain’s Efe news service says that the group says there are a lot of children on board.

Two more boats with dozens of people on them that look like the first are also lost.

Efe was told by Spain’s marine rescue service that an airplane had joined the search.

On June 27, the boat with 200 people on it left Kafountine for the Canary Islands.

Few details are known about the other two boats, but Helena Maleno of Walking Borders told Reuters that one of the boats has about 65 people on board and the other has up to 60. That would mean that more than 300 people from all three boats are still missing.

The news comes just a few weeks after one of the worst migrant deaths in the Mediterranean, when an overcrowded trawler sank off the coast of Greece.

At least 78 people were known to have killed, but the UN said that up to 500 people were still missing.

New information makes it hard to believe what the Greeks said about the boat sinking: “Instead of saving us, they sank the boat.” The trip from West Africa to the Canary Islands is one of the most dangerous for migrants, in part because they usually travel in simple fishing boats that are easily tossed by the strong Atlantic currents.

The UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) says that at least 559 people died at sea last year while trying to get to the Spanish islands. In 2021, there were 1,126 deaths.

But the IOM says there isn’t much information about how many people leave from West Africa and that shipwrecks are often not recorded.

It also says that most of the refugees come from Morocco, Mali, Senegal, Ivory Coast, or other countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Interior Ministry of Spain says that 15,682 people came to the Canary Islands without permission in 2022. This is more than 30% less than in 2021.

Even though the number of people using this dangerous way has been going down from year to year, the IOM says that the number is still high compared to other years.

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