39 drown off Almeria coast

39 people are believed to have drowned this morning after their boat went down.

The Spanish coastguard have been looking for a patera (immigrant boat) since Wednesday night after being warned that one with 54 passengers had set sail from Morroco to reach Spain.

At midday today, 15 survivors from the wreck were discovered clinging to the remains of their inflatable boat 40 nautical miles off the coast. 13 men and 2 women.

It is understood that the boat went down at around 2am this morning. The other 39 people either vanished during the sinking or slipped off the remains over the course of the day, unable to hang on.

The survivors were spotted by a coastguard plane searching the sea for them. Life bouys were dropped to them and a coastguard cutter was quickly on the scene to pull them out of the sea.

The coastguard continues to search the area, although there is little hope of finding anyone else alive.

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