Canary Islands: 2-year-old rescued from migrant boat dies

National News

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — A 2-year-old girl from Mali who was rescued from a migrant boat near Spain’s Canary Islands and hospitalized in critical condition has died, health authorities said.

The toddler named Nabody suffered a cardiac arrest and was resuscitated by emergency workers on the dock of Arguineguín upon arrival Tuesday. She was being treated at a pediatric hospital in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria but died Sunday, a spokeswoman with the local health department said.

Nabody was among 52 people who departed from Dakhla in the Western Sahara coast and spent five days in the Atlantic Ocean before Spain’s Maritime Rescue Service saved the group. Many of the passengers, who included 29 women and nine children, suffered from severe hypothermia and required hospital care.

The child’s dramatic rescue made the front pages of several Spanish newspapers and highlighted the plight of West Africans fleeing violence or seeking better lives in Europe.

“There are no words to describe so much pain. Heartfelt thanks to those who have fought to the end to save her life,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez tweeted. “It is a knock on the conscience of all of us. Nabody was 24 months old.”

Around 2,600 people have survived the dangerous Atlantic crossing and reached the Canaries by boat so far this year.

In 2020, some 23,000 people successfully crossed while 849 were reported dead or missing according to the U.N.’s migration agency’s Missing Migrants Project.

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