Moroccan coastguard went to the rescue of a ‘patera’ – a boat carrying migrants – after they called for assistance in waters near the Canary Islands early Monday morning.
But according to NGO Caminando Fronteras, rescue services were unable to locate the stricken boat until late Monday night, by which time four of the thirty on board had died and another eight were missing.
According to a report in El Mundo the group on board had raised the alarm after getting into difficulty at sea.
“We raised the alarm early Monday and gave authorities as much information as possible as to their location. This tragedy could have been avoided,” Helena Maleno, spokesman from the charity told El Mundo.
Someone from the group was again in communication with those on board during the day on Monday. “They said they were very distressed, you could hear women and children crying. It was a difficult conversation. We gave them hope that they would be found but help arrived too late.”
The search was hampered by bad weather and the boat was eventually spotted off Lanzarote.
The eight missing from the boat were said to include women and two babies.