100 Migrants Rescued by Spanish Coast Guard off Southern Spanish Sea
— Madrid España (Spain)
Spain’s Maritime Rescue stated it has rescued 100 migrants from three boats that attempted to reach Europe from Northern Africa. The maritime rescue service said one of the boats discovered Saturday carried eight people in the Strait of Gibraltar. Two larger boats, one with 58 people on board and another with 42, were located in waters east of the Strait.
The Spanish Interior Ministry stated that 8,834 people arrived by sea without authorization between the start of the year and June 16. That is fewer than the 10,746 who came to Spain by boat during the same period last year, when Spain became Europe’s top entry point for migrants.
The rescue service says 22 migrants were missing from a boat that had trouble Wednesday before it could be reached.
The other 20 missing migrants are feared to have drowned in the Mediterranean after a rescue operation that saved 27 others from a sinking boat, the Spanish coastguard said. A passenger ship found the boat on Wednesday afternoon, rescuing 27 people, including six who had to be evacuated by helicopter for medical care. Helana Maleno, a member of the pro-migrant NGO Caminando Fronteras (Walking Borders), said on Twitter that the missing passengers were most likely dead.
She tweeted: “Today, 22 people drowned. They were on the boat for which we raised the alert yesterday. They died because no one took the trouble to rescue them.”
The Spanish coastguard insisted that it would help Morocco search for the missing 22 migrants, although the rescuers said they had not “seen anyone in the water”.
This is the second such incident in a week. Last Wednesday, Spain’s coastguard saved 49 migrants from an overcrowded boat that had been stranded in the Mediterranean for nearly two days.