Rescue Agency Saves Over 500 Migrants in Mediterranean Near Spanish Coast

© REUTERS / StringerMigrants throws up a life-vest before disembarking from a dinghy at "Del Canuelo" beach after they crossed the Strait of Gibraltar sailing from the coast of Morocco, in Tarifa, southern Spain, July 27, 2018
Migrants throws up a life-vest before disembarking from a dinghy at Del Canuelo beach after they crossed the Strait of Gibraltar sailing from the coast of Morocco, in Tarifa, southern Spain, July 27, 2018 - Sputnik International
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MADRID (Sputnik) - The Spanish Maritime Safety and Rescue Society (SASEMAR) said that it had saved more than 500 migrants on Wednesday who were heading to Spain via the Mediterranean Sea. Earlier information suggested that a total of 361 people were rescued.

SASEMAR said that 240 migrants on seven boats were rescued in the Strait of Gibraltar, and another 284 migrants on five boats had been rescued in the Alboran Sea.

According to the International Organization for Migration, Spain currently tops the list of Mediterranean countries by the number of migrant sea arrivals, with over 25,000 migrants arriving in the country since the beginning of the year.

Over 61,500 migrants have arrived in Europe by sea in 2018, and more than 1,500 people are reported dead or missing.

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European countries have been experiencing a large-scale migration crisis since 2015 due to the influx of thousands of migrants and refugees fleeing crises in their home countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

Undocumented migrants are reportedly trying to reach EU countries through various routes, including via Italy, Greece, Turkey and the Balkans.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said earlier that Madrid would set up a central operational command to address the immigration-related challenges the country is facing. According to the prime minister, the objective of this command will be to prevent migrants from illegally entry to Spain from their countries of origin.

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