224 immigrants rescued off Spanish coast

Maritime rescue vessels picked up a total of 224 people from 23 dinghies in the Strait of Gibraltar on Monday morning.

Both men and women, believed to all be Sub-Saharan Africans, are reported to be in a good state of health. They are currently being moved to Tarifa where they will be attended to by Red Cross volunteers.

The stretch of good weather over the past couple of days has seen a significant increase in the number of attempted crossings, with more than 254 migrants setting out for the coast of Cadiz in the last 24 hours.

Information released by Salvamento Maritimo, Spain’s Maritime search and rescue organisation, has described how eight vessels containing 84 people were intercepted early in the morning as they were attempting to cross the strait. Later, Salvamento Maritimo, together with the Guardia Civil, rescued another 129 people. A final dinghy was stopped at midday with a further 11 immigrants aboard.

On Sunday, another two vessels with 27 occupants, including a pregnant woman, were picked up off the coast, meaning that in the last 48 hours, more than 300 immigrants have been caught trying to enter Spain illegally.

Salvamento Maritimo and police vessels remain in the area. 

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