Spain rescues 476 migrants crossing Mediterranean Sea
Refugees and migrants wait to be rescued by members of the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms, after leaving Libya trying to reach European soil aboard an overcrowded rubber boat, north of Libyan coast, Sunday, May 6, 2018. In total 105 refugees and migrants from Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, Marrocos, Gana, Pakistan, Sudan, Libya, Eritrea and Senegal were rescued in the overcrowded rubber boat. (Felipe Dana/Associated Press) May 6
MADRID â" Spainâs maritime rescue service said Sunday that it saved 476 migrants who were attempting the perilous crossing of the Mediterranean Sea from African shores.
The migrants were pulled from 15 small boats on Friday and Saturday, officials said. There were no reported casualt ies.
Separately, a Spanish nonprofit dedicated to helping migrants at sea rescued 105 more migrants in waters near Libya during a mission on Sunday.
The aid group Proactiva Open Arms found the migrants, from Bangladesh, Egypt, Libya, Nigeria and other countries, drifting at sea in a motor-less boat.
The migrants told an Associated Press photographer onboard who documented the rescue that human smugglers sailing in a separate boat removed their boatâs engine halfway through the dangerous Mediterranean crossing and left.
Favorable weather appears to have sparked the surge in sea crossings.
Each year, tens of thousands of migrants attempt to reach Spain and other southern European countries by crossing the Mediterranean in smugglersâ boats. Most of the vessels are unfit for open water, and thousands of migrants drown each year.
The U.N. says 615 migrants have died crossing the Mediterranean so far this year. A total of 22,439 migrants have reached European shores, with 4,409 arriving in Spain, through the first four months of 2018.
This version corrects the spelling of the NGO to Proactiva Open Arms, not Proactive.
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