300 migrants rescued as try to make trip from Africa to Spain

Desperate 300 migrants rescued from tiny boats as they try to make trip from Africa to Spain

Rescuers save another 300 desperate migrants from tiny boats as they try to join the 35,000 who have already made trip from Africa to Spain this year

  • Six boats with 160 migrants inside were stopped on Saturday and another 172 people in four boats on Sunday
  • The migrants were spotted in the Strait of Gibraltar and picked up by Spanish maritime rescue services
  • Spain has become a leading entry point for migrants and human trafficking rings help them reach shores

Spain’s maritime rescue service says it has saved over 300 migrants attempting the perilous crossing of the Mediterranean Sea this weekend.

The service says it rescued 160 migrants from six boats on Saturday, and another 172 migrants from four boats on Sunday in the Strait of Gibraltar.

Spain has become a leading entry point for migrants and the human trafficking rings that help them reach European shores. According to the United Nations, 34,994 migrants have arrived to Spain this year. 

Spain’s maritime rescue service says it has saved over 300 migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea this weekend

160 migrants in six boats were picked up on Saturday and another 172 migrants from four boats were rescued on Sunday in the Strait of Gibraltar

Migrants wave aboard a Salvamento Maritimo sea search and rescue agency vessel after they were rescued from a boat stranded in the Strait of Gibraltar

The U.N. says 1,565 people are known to have died trying to cross the Mediterranean so far in 2018. 

Dozens of people crammed into the tiny boats were rescued by the Spanish Guardia Civil and the Salvamento Maritimo, Spain’s maritime safety and rescue society, while trying to get to dry land in Spain  

Spain has overtaken Italy and Greece as a popular entry point, as Italy’s new populist government refuses to admit rescue boats. 

A total of 33,195 illegal migrants had entered Spain as of the end of August 2018, Interior Ministry data shows. This is more than double the number for the same period last year.


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The number of arrivals is down sharply from the peak in 2015, when 1.02 million entered Europe via the Mediterranean. 

Recently there has been a sharp increase in the use of a Morocco and Spain route.

Nearly abandoned until 2000, this ‘Western Mediterranean’ route saw 23,000 crossings last year, mostly of Algerians, Ivorians and Moroccans.

However most of the crossings last year were from Libya or Tunisia into Italy, by the ‘Central Mediterranean’ route, says the EU’s Frontex border agency.

According to the United Nations, 34,994 migrants have arrived to Spain this year. The country has seen a steady increase in arrivals this year and has overtaken Italy as the preferred destination

The crew of a Spanish Guardia Civil boat communicate with 157 migrants on board a boat stranded in the Strait

A total of 33,195 illegal migrants had entered Spain as of the end of August 2018, according to Interior Ministry data

The number of arrivals is down sharply from the peak in 2015, when 1.02 million entered Europe via the Mediterranean

It was used by 118,962 people, mostly Nigerians, Guineans and Ivorians.

But arrivals via this route have plunged 75 per cent since a controversial July 2017 deal between Rome and the Libyan coastguard.

Crossings have also dropped sharply from Turkey to Greece, the ‘Eastern Mediterranean’ route. After close to 900,000 migrants in 2015, Frontex recorded only 42,000 last year, essentially Afghans, Iraqis and Syrians. 

The main secondary route into the EU is through the western Balkans into Eastern Europe.

Around 12,000 people entered this way last year, most of them Afghans, Iraqis and Pakistanis – a sharp reduction from the 760,000 in 2015.

But this path joins up with one used by migrants who have already passed through Turkey and Greece, meaning the actual numbers of new arrivals don’t always add up 

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