MADRID: Spanish Maritime Rescue Services have saved almost 1,500 people attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa to Spain in about three days over the weekend.
The rescue service agency confirmed Sunday night on its website that they had “rescued 1,181 people in 30 dinghies between yesterday and today.”
Up to “307 people in 12 dinghies were aided in the Straits of Gibraltar and 874 from 18 in the Alboran Sea (an area off the south-east coast of Spain),” the agency said, adding that “the emergencies were coordinated by the control centers in Tarifa and Almeria (southern Spain).”
On Monday morning the agency said 230 people were rescued from five dinghies and taken to the port of Algeciras at roughly 6:30 a.m. An additional 83 people were rescued from another dinghy in the same area later in the morning.
Recent mild weather across the Mediterranean encouraged the would-be immigrants and gave increasing pressure to the Spanish rescue services.
Figures published by the International Organization for Migration on Tuesday showed that the first nine months of 2018 saw 36,654 immigrants cross the Mediterranean to Spain, which is 24,308 more than that in the same period of 2017.