The girl was one of 52 sub-Saharan Africans found onboard a vessel near the island of Gran Canaria on Tuesday who were brought by Spain’s maritime rescue service to the port of Arguineguin.
Rescuers handed the unconscious girl to a team of Red Cross nurses who worked frantically to revive her on the pavement of the port, images broadcast on Spanish TV last week showed.
She was then rushed to a hospital in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the capital of Gran Canaria, where she died on Sunday, said a spokeswoman for the health department of the regional government of the Atlantic archipelago.
The girl had been in a critical condition in the hospital’s intensive care unit since her rescue, the spokeswoman added without giving further details.
Local media said the girl, who was travelling to Gran Canaria with her mother and older sister, had suffered cardiac arrest during the attempted crossing.
The Canary Islands are a key entry point for migrants seeking a better life in Europe. In 2020, a total of 23,023 migrants landed on the islands, a figure eight times higher than the 2,687 who arrived in 2019.
The numbers surged after increased patrols along Spain’s southern coast dramatically reduced crossings via the Mediterranean.
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At its shortest, the sea crossing to the islands from the Moroccan coast is more than 100 kilometres (60 miles), but it is a notoriously dangerous route because of strong currents, while vessels are typically overcrowded and in poor condition.