Aid group says 6,618 migrants died trying to reach Spain by boat in 2023, more than double 2022

MADRID (AP) — More than 6,600 migrants died while trying to reach Spain by boat last year, a Spanish non-profit organization said Tuesday.

The figure is more than double the number in the previous year, when the organization, Caminando Fronteras (Walking Borders), said 2,390 died.

The organization said 2023 was the deadliest year since it began keeping records in 2007. Most of the 6,618 deaths recorded occurred on the so-called Atlantic route from west Africa to Spain's Canary Islands, just west of Morocco.

The figure included 363 women and 384 children.

Caminando Fronteras says it compiles its own figures from families of migrants and rescue statistics.

Spain’s interior ministry says a record 55,618 migrants arrived in Spain by boat last year, almost double the number in the previous year. The vast majority came on the Atlantic route.