Spanish sea rescue workers have saved the lives of 115 migrants over the weekend off Spain's southern coast. The number of arrivals in the country in general, however, has significantly decreased.
The Europa Press news agency said that during two separate rescue missions, the sea rescue picked up 83 men, 17 women and 15 underage migrant.
The first rescue operation took place in Alboran sea waters on Saturday just before midnight, and the second one in the Strait of Gibraltar on Sunday morning. The rescued migrants have been taken to safety to the ports cities of Cadiz and Motril, where medical and identity checks would be performed.
According to initial reports, the majority of the intercepted migrants said they came from countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Number of arrivals in Spain down
Compared to the previous year, the number of irregular migrants arriving in Spain by using the western Mediterranean route has decreased significantly.
According to the latest numbers published by the UN's International Organization for Migration (IOM), less than 17,000 people had arrived in Spain this way so far this year. During the first nine months of the previous year, there were twice as many arrivals.