This is the moment Spanish authorities rescued a sinking dinghy with 52 illegal immigrants trying to reach Europe from the North African coast.
The Maritime Safety and Rescue Society (Sasemar) agency shared a video of the rescue that took place in the Alboran Sea off Spain’s southern coast.
According to local media, 52 illegal immigrants were on board the dinghy that was just beginning to sink when it was initially spotted by Spanish authorities.
Sasemar sent a rescue boat and helicopter, which provided the yellow raft the migrants were transferred to in the video.
According to the maritime agency, all the African immigrants they found at sea were rescued but four people died after setting off from Morocco.
Prior to the rescue, Sasemar workers rescued a dinghy in a similar situation with 51 migrants on board, including five dead people.
The vessel was spotted by a Sasemar aircraft and rafts were lowered to them so that they could wait safely for a rescue boat to arrive.
The 51 illegal immigrants were taken to the Port of Motril in Andalusia.
From January until July this year, 318 migrants have died at sea trying to reach the Spanish coast, according to official sources.
This number is three times more than recorded numbers for the same period in 2017.
Reports said that 1,500 people have died in the Mediterranean Sea in total this year.
In June, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said in a statement it was ‘shocked’ by the deaths and called for urgent action.
UNHCR is dismayed by the ever-growing number of refugees and migrants losing their lives at sea and is calling for urgent international action to strengthen rescue at sea efforts by all relevant and capable actors, including NGOs and commercial vessels, throughout the Mediterranean.
At the same time, access to protection in countries of first asylum should be ensured, as well as alternative pathways for refugees in Libya trying to cross the sea in search of protection and safety. All these steps are crucial to ensure that no more lives are lost at sea.
A Libyan coastguard around the same time picked up 762 migrants trying to reach Italy in rubber boats in two days alone.
The North African country is a key departure point for migrants fleeing wars and poverty who are trying to reach Europe, though UNHCR says crossings have dropped drastically since last July thanks to a more active coastguard presence with support from the European Union.
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