BRUSSELS (AP) — Spain is reporting that it has rescued at sea more than 600 people, more than half of them in the Strait of Gibraltar.
The Spanish Maritime Rescue Service says it pulled 377 people from 18 boats in the Strait on Monday, and another 236 from three boats in an area further east.
Monday’s rescues bring the number of people Spain has picked up in the western Mediterranean Sea to more than 1,400 in three days.
The uptick in migrant boats heading to Spain has coincided with clear weather and a calm sea.
Migrants often head from North Africa to Spain, the nearest European Union country, in overloaded, unseaworthy boats.
In this Sunday, June 24, 2018 photo, released by the Libyan coast guard, African migrants who were on boats in distress in the Mediterranean on their way to Europe, and rescued by the Libyan coast guard arrive to shore, east of the capital, Tripoli, Libya. Four boats, boarding 490 African migrants including 75 women and 21 children, were intercepted on Sunday off the town of Gohneima. (Libyan Coast Guard via AP)
Rescued migrants sit in the search and rescue ship of German aid group Mission Lifeline as the boat remained stranded off Malta with 234 migrants aboard and no port at which to dock after both Italy and Malta refused to give authorization, early Monday, June 25, 2018. Since taking office at the beginning of the month, Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has launched a crackdown on private European-flagged rescue ships. (Mission Lifeline via AP)
Danish-flagged commercial liner Alexander Maersk is off Sicily’s coast Monday June 25, 2018 as it waits for a port to disembark the more than 100 people it had rescued. The cargo ship was involved in a rescue last Thursday along with the German aid group Mission Lifeline, whose ship is stranded off Malta with 234 migrants. (AP Photo/Salvatore Cavalli)