Spain rescues 50 migrants drifting between south coast and Morocco

August 17, 2016 9:18 AM EDT

A migrant, who is part of a group intercepted aboard a dinghy off the coast in the Mediterranean sea, is helped by a member of Spanish Red Cross after arriving on a rescue boat at a port in Malaga, southern Spain, June 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jon Nazca

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MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish authorities said on Wednesday they had rescued 50 migrants from Morocco and sub-Saharan Africa who were found the day before drifting in two boats off Spain's Mediterranean coast.

Spain's maritime rescue service said it first spotted an inflatable boat with six Moroccan men stuck in high winds as it tried to cross the from Morocco's northern coast to the southern Spanish region of Almeria.

A second boat with 34 men and 10 women from sub-Saharan African countries later was found in the same area.

One woman was treated for burns but the rest of the migrants were in good health, the service said in a statement. All of the migrants were taken aboard a medical ship and transferred to Spain.

In 2015, 3,845 migrants entered Spain via sea crossings, according to the International Organization for Migration, a tiny fraction of the 956,000 that reached Europe the same way.

(Reporting by Angus Berwick, editing by Larry King)

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