SPAIN’S Maritime Rescue Service has reportedly saved 549 migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea this weekend.
It’s vessel intercepted six small boats carrying a total of 350 migrants on Saturday 5 in waters east of the Strait of Gibraltar.
And yesterday (Sunday), another 199 migrants were pulled from five different crafts, two of which were tiny recreational boats, one carrying four children, the other packed with 10 adults.
The European Union’s border agency revealed on Friday that 57,000 illegal immigrants reached Spain last year, double the figure for 2017.
Whilst, overall, unauthorized border crossings into Europe hit a five-year low.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis reportedly appealed to European leaders this yesterday afternoon to show concrete solidarity to 49 migrants stranded aboard a pair of rescue vessels.
Addressing faithful congregation in St. Peter’s Square, he noted that the migrants, rescued in the Mediterranean Sea, have been waiting days to be allowed a safe port to let them disembark.
Italy’s populist government has refused to let private aid vessels disembark migrants in Italian ports. And while Malta will not allow disembarkment, it has reportedly allowed the two boats to enter its waters for fresh supplies.
The migrants were rescued before Christmas.