MADRID (AP) — Spain’s maritime rescue service says it picked up 290 migrants over the weekend while they attempted to cross the Mediterranean Sea in small boats unfit for open water.
The rescue service said it pulled a total of 153 migrants from four boats on Saturday, and another 137 from four more boats on Sunday.
All the rescues took place in either the Strait of Gibraltar or in waters further east.
Spain’s Interior Ministry says 8,834 people arrived by sea between the start of the year and June 16. That is fewer than the 10,746 who came by boat during the same period last year, when Spain became Europe’s top entry point for unauthorized immigration.
On Wednesday 22 people went missing from a boat before it could be reached.