MADRID (AP) — Spanish maritime rescue services said Friday they saved 27 migrants in a boat trying to reach the Canary Islands, but they also found four bodies on board.

It was one of five small vessels carrying a total of 166 migrants, mostly men from sub-Saharan Africa, making their way to the Spanish islands off northwest Africa over Thursday and Friday.

The voyage from Africa to the Canary Islands by migrants attempting to reach European soil is one of the deadliest migration routes. Hundreds of people die every year at sea, often on small, frail craft.

The four dead migrants were a man, a woman, a teenager and a young girl, rescue officials told Spanish state news agency EFE.

The boat was spotted Thursday about 500 kilometers (300 miles) south of the island chain by a fishing vessel, whose crew gave the migrants food and water and alerted authorities.

In other arrivals, 68 migrants on two boats reached the island of Lanzarote, private news agency Europa Press reported from the archipelago.

And a boat carrying 15 migrants, including a woman and baby, was intercepted just south of Fuerteventura island, and another 56 people were on a boat rescued off Gran Canaria.


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