Spain rescues more than 200 refugees from Mediterranean

Spain rescues more than 200 refugees from Mediterranean
Spain's sea rescue service rescued more than 200 refugees from the Mediterranean Sea on Saturday, after confirming more than 400 were saved this week alone.

2 min read
25 June, 2017
Migrant boat in the Mediterranean [Anadolu]
Spanish coastguards rescued more than 200 refugees as they attempted to make the perilous sea crossing from north Africa to Europe on Saturday.

A spokesman for Spain's state maritime rescue service said that 224 people had been rescued from five vessels in the Strait of Gibraltar and the Alboran Sea, which separates Spain from Morocco.

The first rescues occurred in the early hours, the spokesman said, with dozens rescued south of Gibraltar from three boats. 

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Another 72 were rescued later after being spotted by a plane belonging to Europe's border agency, Frontex. 

Spain's sea rescue service said on Thursday that it had saved more than 400 migrants this week alone. 

Last week, a Libyan coastguard had rescued 906 refugees off the coast of Libya, including 25 children and seven pregnant women.

The relatively short sea crossing from Morocco to Spain is a popular route taken by refugees from sub-Saharan and north Africa in their quest to reach Europe.

According to the International Organisation for Migration, 3,314 people attempted this crossing between January 1 and April 30 this year. They recorded 59 deaths over the same period in this part of the Mediterranean