Spanish coastguards rescue 59 migrants off Gibraltar

Spain, Aug 12, 2013 (AFP)

Spanish coastguards on Monday picked up 59 migrants including a pregnant woman attempting to reach the southern coast of Spain in makeshift boats, rescue services said.

In all, 196 people have been picked up since Saturday and taken to the southern Spanish port of Tarifa where Red Cross volunteers will care for them, a spokeswoman for Spain’s rescue service said.

Force-eight winds have made the crossing even more perilous than usual, the service said on Twitter.

Many migrants from sub-Saharan Africa attempt to cross into Spain from Morocco, either by sea through the Strait of Gibraltar or overland, via the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in the extreme north of Morocco.

Last year, 3,804 immigrants reached the Spanish coast by sea, 30 percent fewer than in 2011.

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