Spain rescues 600 migrants in Mediterranean in 24 hours

EDS NOTE : SPANISH LAW REQUIRES THAT THE FACES OF MINORS ARE MASKED IN PUBLICATIONS WITHIN SPAIN - Migrants arrive on board a Spain's maritime rescue boat at the port of Tarifa, southern Spain, after being rescued in the Strait of Gibraltar, Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. Spain's maritime rescue service has saved more than 600 migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Morocco in the past 24 hours, making it one of its busiest days so far this year. (AP Photo/ Marcos Moreno)
Rescue workers carry an injured Moroccan migrant on a stretcher as they arrive to the port of Tarifa, southern Spain, after being rescued with others in the Strait of Gibraltar, Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. Spain's maritime rescue service has saved more than 600 migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Morocco in the past 24 hours, making it one of its busiest days so far this year. (AP Photo/ Marcos Moreno)
EDS NOTE : SPANISH LAW REQUIRES THAT THE FACES OF MINORS ARE MASKED IN PUBLICATIONS WITHIN SPAIN - Young migrants from Morocco queue to change their clothes at the port of Tarifa, southern Spain, after being rescued in the Strait of Gibraltar, Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. Spain's maritime rescue service has saved more than 600 migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Morocco in the past 24 hours, making it one of its busiest days so far this year. (AP Photo/ Marcos Moreno)
Migrants arrive on board a Spain's maritime rescue boat at the port of Tarifa, southern Spain, after being rescued in the Strait of Gibraltar, Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. Spain's maritime rescue service has saved more than 600 migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Morocco in the past 24 hours, making it one of its busiest days so far this year. (AP Photo/ Marcos Moreno)
EDS NOTE : SPANISH LAW REQUIRES THAT THE FACES OF MINORS ARE MASKED IN PUBLICATIONS WITHIN SPAIN - A sub-Saharan migrant smiles as he holds up a baby at the port of Tarifa, southern Spain, after being rescued with others in the Strait of Gibraltar, Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. Spain's maritime rescue service has saved more than 600 migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Morocco in the past 24 hours, making it one of its busiest days so far this year. (AP Photo/ Marcos Moreno)

MADRID — Spain's maritime rescue service has saved more than 600 migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Morocco in the past 24 hours, making it one of its busiest days so far this year.

The service said it rescued 16 migrants early Thursday in the Strait of Gibraltar, a narrow passage that separates Spain from Morocco. On Wednesday, its vessels rescued 601 migrants, including two in a canoe and six in a beach paddle boat.

The service said of the 601, 432 migrants were rescued in the Strait and 169 further east in the Mediterranean. Some 550 of the migrants were from Maghreb countries of northwest Africa and the rest from sub-Saharan African countries.

Joel Millman, a spokesman for the International Organization for Migration in Geneva, called the influx "a big number" for Spain, though Italy has received far more migrants this year.

"We haven't had days like that in quite some time. But it isn't very big for the region," he said. "Earlier this summer, we had an 8,000-person weekend, as I recall, between Libya and Italy. "

More than 9,000 migrants have reached Spain by sea so far this year, more than the total for all of 2016.

IOM says one reason for the increase could be that the Mediterranean Sea crossing from Libya to Italy is seen as increasingly dangerous, due to lawlessness in Libya and stepped-up patrols by the Libyan coast guard. More migrants also reach Spain during good summer weather.

Tens of thousands of migrants from Africa attempt the perilous sea crossing to Europe in smugglers' boats each year, with many drowning along the way.

In Spain's case, many also try to enter Europe by scaling border fences surrounding Ceuta and Melilla, the country's two North African enclaves.

___

Jamey Keaten contributed from Geneva.

You may also interested in

How Hollywood's top stylist got Sarah Paulson out of sweats

Mar 16, 2017

After winning throughout awards season for her work in "American Crime Story," actress Sarah Paulson is celebrating the woman who dresses her for the red carpet: Karla Welch, who was recently named the most powerful stylist in Hollywood

WNBA's new security app put to test quickly

Jan 10, 2017

It didn't take long for the WNBA's new security app to be put to the test

Liz Weston: How to stop being the family ATM

Aug 14, 2017

Your family probably knows how to push your buttons - including the ones that enable their self-destructive financial behaviors

People also read these

How Hollywood's top stylist got Sarah Paulson out of sweats

Mar 16, 2017

After winning throughout awards season for her work in "American Crime Story," actress Sarah Paulson is celebrating the woman who dresses her for the red carpet: Karla Welch, who was recently named the most powerful stylist in Hollywood

WNBA's new security app put to test quickly

Jan 10, 2017

It didn't take long for the WNBA's new security app to be put to the test

Liz Weston: How to stop being the family ATM

Aug 14, 2017

Your family probably knows how to push your buttons - including the ones that enable their self-destructive financial behaviors

Weather, 20 December
Houston Weather
+7

High: +11° Low: -2°

Humidity: 83%

Wind: NNE - 7 KPH

Canberra Weather
+27

High: +27° Low: +17°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: W - 20 KPH

Roissy-en-France Weather
+6

High: +6° Low: -5°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: ENE - 7 KPH

Florence Weather
+9

High: +9° Low: +6°

Humidity: 97%

Wind: ENE - 17 KPH

Parga Weather
+7

High: +16° Low: +4°

Humidity: 100%

Wind: SE - 25 KPH