The Marine Rescue Service intercepted two small boats in the Straits of Gibraltar which were carrying a total of seventeen illegal immigrants, including two women.
The first boat was spotted by a ferry and the ‘Salvamar Alkaid’ was sent to locate it. There were seven passengers on board, all adult males.Nearby was a Moroccan Gendarmerie vessel which was searching the area for a second boat and the two joined forces to find it.
As the two vessels approached the boat, two of the passengers, a man and a woman, dived into the sea and began swimming towards them. Lifebelts had to be thrown to the two swimmers as they began to sink. Once rescued, the woman had to be revived as she was unconscious and had swallowed a lot of water.
Some of the other passengers showed symptoms of hypothermia but were generally said to be in good health. They were taken to the port of Tarifa.