Spain: 54 African migrants saved at sea

AP News
Posted: Jun 23, 2011 9:29 AM
Spain: 54 African migrants saved at sea

Spanish authorities have rescued 54 migrants trying to reach the southern coast of the country in a crowded boat.

The Maritime Rescue service said one of the travelers rescued Thursday off the southern city of Motril says up to seven others are missing, including a baby. But the official said this is not confirmed, because a phone call from Morocco alerting Spanish authorities of the boat said there were 54 people aboard.

Every year thousands of poor Africans try to reach Spain because they see Europe's southern gateway as the ticket to a better life.

Spanish officials say the number of arrivals is down because of increased surveillance at departure points in Morocco and along the west African coast and due to Spain's economic woes.