Spanish coastguards pick up nearly 700 African migrants in two days

Forty-nine boats attempted crossing straits yesterday

A worker carries an African child immigrant who arrived on a rescue ship at the southern Spanish port of Tarifa, near Cadiz in southern Spain yesterday.  Photograph: Reuters/Jon Nazca

A worker carries an African child immigrant who arrived on a rescue ship at the southern Spanish port of Tarifa, near Cadiz in southern Spain yesterday. Photograph: Reuters/Jon Nazca

Wed, Aug 13, 2014, 01:00

Spanish emergency services picked up 470 immigrants travelling in dozens of rafts across the Strait of Gibraltar on yesterday and 227 from the same stretch of water on Monday, a spokesman for the Maritime Safety Agency said.

More than 75,000 have tried to cross the Mediterranean from North Africa, landing in Italy, Greece, Spain and Malta, the UNHCR agency says, with about 800 people dying in the attempt.

Some 49 boats carrying mostly men, but also 68 women and 15 under-18s, made the journey from North Africa to the south of Spain yesterday, Spanish authorities said. – (Reuters)