Spain coastguards rescue more than 200 migrants from five vessels in the Mediterranean

Madrid: Spanish coastguards rescued more than 200 migrants on Saturday as they attempted to make the perilous sea crossing from north Africa to Europe.

Representational image. Getty Images

Representational image. Getty Images

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

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

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

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

The relatively short sea crossing from Morocco to Spain is a popular route taken by migrants 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 1 January and 30 April in 2017. They recorded 59 deaths over the same period in this part of the Mediterranean.

Updated Date: Jun 24, 2017 19:50 PM

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