Around 87 migrants were rescued from a rickety boat bound for the Canary Islands in Spain on Friday. Among the people on board was a newborn baby who was reportedly born on the ship before it was rescued by Spanish rescuers. According to media reports, the migrants were all from sub-Saharan Africa and were travelling on three boats before they were picked up just south of the island of Gran Canaria. A spokeswoman for the Salvamento Maritimo rescue service said that the baby was born just beforehand the ship was rescued and informed that both mother and the baby were doing well.
As per media reports, there were 54 migrants in the first two boats which were picked up on Thursday and another boat carried 33 migrants. The boats were picked up 60 nautical miles south of Gran Canaria. Among the rescued migrants were 30 women, ten children and the rest of them were men. The spokeswoman further added that the migrants were taken to the southern port of Arguinerin. This is not the first time when a baby was born on board a migrant ship. In January, the international press reported that a baby was born aboard a makeshift boat carrying 43 migrants. The baby did not survive and was declared dead on arrival on the island of Lanzarote.
The surge in the European migrant crisis began in 2015 with migrants coming from the mostly Muslim-majority countries of North Africa and Greater Middle-East. The immigrants began to flock in the European countries after the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and unrest in most African countries. According to international media reports, the current number of displaced people is at the highest level since World War II.