Authorities say over 500 migrants were saved by rescue boats over the weekend, as they attempted the perilous crossing of the Mediterranean Sea from Africa, in the biggest wave of arrivals seen this year.
The Guardia Civil intercepted two boats (pictured), with 10 and 11 people on board, around 20 kilometres off the coast of Torrevieja last Friday morning. Everybody, including some children, were found to be in good health after being examined by the Cruz Roja in Alicante.
Futher north, an abandoned boat was found in the Moraira area, and five people were detained in a craft off Javea.
Francisco Bernabe, the national government representative in the region of Murcia, said 461 migrants arrived at Cartagena on Saturday after being pulled off of 44 different boats in the previous hours, including one off the coast of Pilar de la Horadada.
The boats were reportedly launched from Algeria, and like in the case of Alicante, the Cruz Roja were deployed to the port to attend to the migrants.
Another 40 migrants were intercepted in two boats in the Strait of Gibraltar.
Bernabe called the wave of migrants “a coordinated and unacceptable attack on our borders.”
Tens of thousands of refugees and migrants try the crossing each year. Packed into unseaworthy craft, thousands drown in the attempt.