THE Red Cross had to rescue three men trapped below the Albir cliffs between the lighthouse and La Mitjana.
They were alerted after Maritime Rescue was contacted by a sailing boat crew who spotted three people in difficulties on the rocks.
Suspecting that they were brought in by people smugglers operating between North Africa and Spain, the Red Cross took the men to Maritime Rescue’s base at Altea Port.
Despite having wet clothes and showing mild symptoms of hypothermia, the three appeared to be in good health.
After a change of clothing and a meal they were left in the custody of the Guardia Civil who are now trying to establish where they began their journey and if others were with them.
Twelve of the clandestine boats called pateras brought 129 immigrants to the Alicante coast in 2016, although the Albir rescue is the first known case this year.