A migrant covers his face on board a Spanish rescue boat when he arrived on January 13 at the port of Malaga, after the rescue of 54 people who were sailing in an inflatable boat off the southern coast of Spain
The Spanish maritime rescue services found three migrants dead on a boat Friday and rescued another 82 trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea in the direction of Spain.
On Twitter, the coastguards claimed that the migrants traveled in two separate boats and were intercepted in the Alboran Sea, between Morocco and the coast of Andalusia, in southern Spain. „They are being moved to Almería“, in the south, they added.
The causes of death of the three people, who were traveling in the same boat with other migrants, are unknown.
Spain is the third gateway for migrants to Europe, far from Italy but closer to Greece.
Many Africans choose to extend their terrestrial itinerary to Morocco and cross from there to Spain instead of crossing the dangerous Libya to embark towards Italy on the well-known central Mediterranean route.
According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 22,400 people arrived in Spain by sea last year, almost triple the previous year. At least 223 people died on the crossing.
So far this year, at least 75 people have lost their lives trying to reach the Spanish shore.
Among the accidents known to the AFP, Moroccan rescue services recovered the bodies of 16 migrants on the coast of the Spanish enclave of Melilla, in the north of the African country earlier this month. All of them were from sub-Saharan Africa, except for one Moroccan.
And in January, seven Africans drowned or died of hypothermia, fatigue and hunger when they tried to reach the Spanish archipelago of the Canary Islands, off the west coast of Africa.