Over 400 migrants rescued off Spanish coast

MADRID: Almost 400 migrants were rescued in the Mediterranean on Tuesday as they attempted to make the crossing from Morocco to Spain, Spanish rescue services said.

While the overall numbers of migrants reaching Europe by sea is down from the peak in 2015, Spain has seen a steady increase in sea arrivals that began more than a year ago and has surged in recent months.

On Tuesday 458 people, including 13 children, were rescued from nine boats in the Strait of Gibraltar and the Alboran Sea, the two principal sea crossings to Spain, the Spanish coastguard said on Twitter.

Spain has overtaken Italy as a destination for migration after a crackdown by Libyan authorities made it more difficult for migrants to reach Italian shores.

Close to 23,000 people have arrived by sea in Spain so far this year, with 307 dying in the attempt, according to the International Organisation for Migration – more than during all of last year. — AFP