MADRID — Spanish authorities say around 500 migrants have been saved by rescue boats as they attempted the perilous crossing of the Mediterranean Sea from Africa.

Francisco Bernabe, the Spanish representative in the region of Murcia, says 461 migrants have arrived at the southern port of Cartagena on Saturday after being pulled off of 44 different boats in the previous hours. The boats were reportedly launched from Algeria.

The Red Cross deployed to the port to attend to the migrants.

Another 40 migrants were intercepted in two boats in the Strait of Gibraltar.

Bernabe called the wave of migrants “a coordinated and unacceptable attack on our borders.”

Tens of thousands of refugees and migrants try the crossing each year. Packed into unseaworthy craft, thousands drown in the attempt.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.