OVIEDO, Spain (AA) – Spanish authorities rescued 97 migrants from two inflatable boats overnight Wednesday off the coast of Spain’s Canary Islands.

The coast guard said another person found floating in the water was rescued and taken to the hospital, while one man was found dead.

One of the small inflatable boats was found off the coast of the island of Fuerteventura and was carrying 41 people.

The other was carrying a group of 57 Sub-Saharan Africans, including three women and one child.

On Thursday morning, leading activist Helena Maleno Garzon also reported an unfolding disaster off Cape Bojador on the west coast of Western Sahara.

She claimed that 54 migrants remain in life-threatening danger as their inflatable boat has filled up with water as they are being battered by strong winds and waves.

As other migrant routes become increasingly inaccessible and political turmoil grows in Western Africa and other regions, the dangerous Canary Islands migration route has become a key way of entering Europe irregularly.

More than 4,000 people died on the route last year, according to the Walking Borders, an NGO.

That makes 2021 the most deadly on record for migrants trying to reach Spain and also makes the Canary Islands migration route one of the most treacherous on earth.

The route itself has become even more dangerous thanks to a remarkable increase in the number of inflatable boats.

2021 was the year these boats came to stay, according to Walking Borders. In the first six months of the last year, one-third of all these voyages ended in tragedy.

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