MADRID – Spain's maritime rescue service says it has saved 231 migrants trying the cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe.
The rescue service says its patrol craft intercepted six different boats carrying migrants that had left from African shores throughout Saturday.
Driven by violent conflicts and extreme poverty, tens of thousands of migrants attempt to reach southern Europe each year by crossing the Mediterranean in smugglers' boats. Most of the boats are unfit for open water, and thousands drown annually.
The U.N. says at least 785 migrants have died crossing the Mediterranean so far this year. Through the first five months of 2018, a total of 27,482 migrants reached European shores, with 7,614 of them arriving in Spain.