Spain’s maritime rescue service saved 476 migrants who were attempting the perilous crossing of the Mediterranean Sea from African shores, Stl Today said quoting an AP report Sunday.
The migrants were reportedly pulled from 15 small boats on Friday and Saturday. There were no casualties reported.
The report added that separately, a Spanish nonprofit dedicated to helping migrants at sea rescued 105 more migrants in waters near Libya during a mission on Sunday.
The aid group Proactiva Open Arms found the migrants, from Bangladesh, Egypt, Libya, Nigeria and other countries, drifting at sea in a motor-less boat, the report mentioned.
The migrants told an Associated Press photographer onboard who documented the rescue that human smugglers sailing in a separate boat removed their boat’s engine halfway through the dangerous Mediterranean crossing and left.
Each year, reports say, tens of thousands of migrants attempt to reach Spain and other southern European countries by crossing the Mediterranean in smugglers’ boats.
Most of the vessels are said to be unfit for open water, and thousands of migrants drown each year. The AP report quoting the U.N said 615 migrants have died crossing the Mediterranean so far this year.
A total of 22,439 migrants have reached European shores, with 4,409 arriving in Spain, through the first four months of 2018, according to the report.