Published — Monday 3 December 2012
Last update 3 December 2012 9:59 pm
CADIZ, Spain: Spanish officials say Coast Guard vessels from southern Spain and Morocco have rescued 27 migrants on four inflatable dinghies in the Strait of Gibraltar.
Officials said some of the migrants trying to reach Spain from Morocco jumped into the sea when the two countries’ rescue vessels approached them Monday, apparently wanting to be picked up by the closer Spanish boats that would take them to Europe instead of back to North Africa.
Each year thousands of suspected illegal immigrants from Africa risk their lives trying to reach Europe on small, flimsy boats.
Spanish authorities said their vessels took 19 sub-Saharan men and two women to the port of Cadiz in southern Spain. Some were suffering from hypothermia.
The six others were picked up by Moroccan rescuers and taken to Tangier.