Migrants: 29 rescued, at least 5 missing off Granada

Reported 400 drowned in Mediterranean since start of year

12 February, 14:17

    MADRID - A Spanish coast guard cutter last night rescued 29 migrants from a boat that was sinking some seven miles off the coast of Granada.
    According to some sources, at least five other passengers are missing.
    The boat was sighted by a merchant ship as it was struggling in poor weather conditions. About a dozen of the 29 rescued migrants were saved by crew from the Salvamar cutter when they were already in the sea and about to drown. They included four heavily pregnant women. The migrants were transferred to the port of Motril, where they were assisted, upon landing at 3 am local time, by Red Cross personnel. Some of them were transferred to hospital with hypothermia symptoms while rescuers are still searching for the missing passengers.
    On Sunday, an additional 45 migrants from sub-Sahara landed at the port of Motril. They were rescued by coast guards off the island of Alboran aboard a vessel in difficulty that had departed from Buyafar on the northern coast of Morocco.
    Since the start of the year, at least 393 migrants drowned or disappeared at sea as they attempted to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe's coast, according to data released by the 'Missing Migrants' project of the International Organization for Migration (OIM). According to the death toll, which was last updated on February 9, 85 of the victims drowned as they were travelling to Spain: 15 in the area of the Gibraltar Strait, one off San Lucar de Barrameda (Cadiz), two in the sea of Alboran, 47 off Melilla and others in Algerian or Moroccan territorial waters.

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