Spain pulls 60 migrants from 3 boats in Strait of Gibraltar

Four members of the Salvage Maritime report to the Red Cross members the state of the rescued sub-Saharan in background after 143 Moroccans and 9 sub-Saharans were rescued in the waters of the Strait of Gibraltar, all by the Salvamar Guardamar C. Arenal (based in Tenerife) in the port of Tarifa, on June 24, 2017. Since midnight today, the Spanish rescue services gathered 224 migrants from the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa who were trying to reach Spain on board five makeshift boats. / AFP PHOTO / Marcos Moreno

MADRID — Spain’s maritime rescue service says it has removed 60 migrants from three boats trying to cross the Strait of Gibraltar from Morocco.

The maritime service said Saturday that its rescue ship Arcturus made two separate rescues, first pulling 13 migrants from a boat and then taking on another 10 from a second craft before it returned to shore.

The service’s rescue ship Salvamar then set out to intercept a third boat carrying 37 migrants.

Government authorities reported Friday that Spain had rescued 7,064 migrants from 285 boats in 2017, more than 1,000 more than number rescued in all of 2016.

Many migrants from Africa die during the perilous sea voyage to Europe made in small boats unfit for the open sea. The boats often belong to human traffickers.