A TOTAL of 536 people attempting to reach Spain by boat have been picked up by coast guards this weekend.
Salvamento Maritimo officers picked up 293 migrants from nine vessels on Saturday following plane and boat searches. A further 243 from eight boats have been picked up in the Strait of Gibraltar today (Sunday).
Tras búsqueda nocturna #patera #Alboran Sasemar 101/helimer 204 localizan y 2 +. Buque SAR Mastelero rescata sucesivamente 33+36 #personas 2 pateras, llega 21:00h #Almeria. Guardamar Calíope rescata 55 y llega 15:30h #Motril Tras rescate, las 3 pateras en mal estado se hundieron. pic.twitter.com/0h6PtU6vkx
— SALVAMENTO MARÍTIMO (@salvamentogob) May 27, 2018
The maritime rescue service said on Twitter three of the eight boats migrants were travelling in sank after their passengers were rescued.
People travelling in the vessels were believed to be mostly from north and sub Saharan Africa. Around 4,409 migrants have attempted the journey to Spain up to early May this year, according to data from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
A total of 224 of died while making the crossing.