258 immigrants rescued in waters off south of Spain
MADRID, Sept. 16 — Spanish Maritime Rescue services have confirmed that 258 immigrants have been rescued from the waters of the Mediterranean in the first 12 hours of Saturday.
The rescues took place off the south coast of Spain, with the first two carried out in an area known as the Alboran Sea.
This first rescue took place at around 01.15am local time and saw 152 people (132 men and 19 women) taken from a dinghy which had been spotted by search aircraft at around 20.00 hours on Friday evening.
All of the people rescued were taken to the port of Malaga, where they were reported to be in “good condition” although one of the women was taken to hospital as a precaution as she was pregnant.
60 people were lifted from another dinghy in the Alboran Sea later in the morning after being localized by a Maritime Rescue services helicopter.
Rescue Services confirmed that this dinghy had set sail from the coast of Bouyafar in Morocco and was half submerged and in a “critical state” when the rescue vessel “Guadamar Polimina” reached it.
A further 46 immigrants were saved by the rescue vessel “Maria Zambrano” in the Straits of Gibraltar, to the west of the other rescues.
Meanwhile two dinghies containing a total of 15 immigrants are confirmed to have reached the Spanish coast in the province of Alicante (South-East Spain), while another dinghy carrying 28 immigrants was intercepted off the north coast of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.
Earlier in September, the Spanish Interior Ministry confirmed 28,620 African immigrants made the dangerous sea crossing of the Mediterranean from North Africa to Spain in the first 8 months of 2018, up 163 percent year on year from a year ago.
Meanwhile United Nations agency for refugees, UNHCR estimates that 318 people either died or disappeared trying to make the crossing in the first 7 months of the year.