BRUSSELS: Spanish authorities say they have rescued 569 migrants crossing the Mediterranean from North Africa to Spain by boat.
Spain’s Maritime Rescue Service says those rescued Saturday included 264 people in 16 boats in the Strait of Gibraltar, a busy shipping lane with treacherous currents. Two men were pulled from a canoe.
Fair weather and calm seas in recent days have brought an uptick in migrants’ attempts to reach the Spanish coast via the Western Mediterranean route.
Also, Spain’s new center-left government recently announced a softer stance on migration, extending public health care to foreigners without residence permits.
A week ago, Spain took in 630 migrants from the French aid ship Aquarius after Malta and Italy, which were closer, refused to grant the ship access to their ports.—AP