Over 400 migrants rescued in three operations off Spain: rescue service

In the largest of the operations, 262 people on 15 vessels have been rescued in the Strait of Gibraltar


Afp June 23, 2018
Migrants keep warm in Red Cross blankets upon their arrival aboard a coast guard boat at Tarifa's harbour. PHOTO: AFP

TARIFA: A total of 418 migrants were rescued in three operations off Spain on Saturday, the country's national rescue service said.

In the largest of the operations, 262 people on 15 vessels were rescued in the Strait of Gibraltar, Salvamento Maritimo said on Twitter.

Twenty-seven others were found in the Mediterranean between Spain and Morocco and 129 more off the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean.

Similar situation happened in May 2018 when Spain’s maritime rescue service said Sunday it had rescued 408 migrants who were attempting the perilous crossing of the Mediterranean Sea from north Africa this weekend.

Spain rescues over 400 migrants in Mediterranean

Spain is the third busiest gateway for migrants arriving in Europe, still far behind Italy but catching up fast with Greece.

Many Africans undertaking the long route to Europe are choosing to avoid crossing danger-ridden Libya to get to Italy along the so-called central Mediterranean route, choosing instead to get there via Morocco and Spain.

According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 22,400 people arrived in Spain by sea last year, nearly triple the number for 2016. Some 223 people died along the way.

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