Spanish police boat rescues over 700 African immigrants

ADRIFT: This rickety boat contained almost 400 migrants

THE GUARDIA CIVIL’S vessel ‘Rio de Segura’ has once again been involved in two dramatic rescues of immigrants off the southern tip of Italy, rounding up another 714 people to add to the many hundreds already plucked from the sea in recent weeks.

Italian authorities requested assistance from their Spanish counterparts, who are operating in the Central Mediterranean as they participate in Joint Operation Triton, conducted by the European Union’s border security agency Frontex.

In the first rescue a staggering 392 migrants were found on board a 20-metre wooden fishing vessel, which was adrift, with a two-month-old baby, and a disabled man among those brought to shore.

A second loose boat, this time made of steel and around 25 metres in length had 322 people aboard, bringing the total of migrants rescued since the beginning of May to 1,559, with eight Egyptians arrested for human trafficking.

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