FIRST AIRED: December 8, 2018

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>> Assan Diallo is making the final preparations for a journey that could cost him his life. Like an increasing number of African migrants, he's heading for the Canary Islands on a treacherous voyage seen as one of the last viable routes into Europe.>>
> The wind was so heavy that it pushed us to Mauritania. We had to return by road. It was very tough, six people died on our boat.
Sometimes I go fishing at sea and I return with nothing.>>
That's after the European Union spent millions of dollars closing off migrant routes through North Africa. Spain’s Guardia Civil works with the Senegalese Coast Guard to intercept migrants. But they say they rarely find anyone.>>
>> That vast ocean exposes migrants to mountainous waves, blistering heat, and starvation. And Diallo knows the dangers that lie ahead. Because his already attempted the journey.>>
We buried them on the beach in Mauritania.>> Despite the perils, 1,200 people successfully arrived in the Canary Islands between January the 1st and November the 14th this year, according to Spanish Interior Ministry data. That's the highest in nine years, and four times higher than in the same period last year.
The lack of data on departures makes it impossible to calculate how many were unsuccessful. But in 2006, when 30,000 made it to the chain of islands, rights groups say some 7,000 died on the crossing.