Seventeen men and seven women, all of North African origin and seemingly adrift in two small zodiacs, were rescued on Friday and brought ashore in Torrevieja.
They were initially spotted during the early morning by fishermen, about 35 miles off the coast, and subsequently taken aboard the Salvamar Mirfak, operated by maritime rescue, following which there were delivered into the care of the Red Cross in the Torrevieja Salt Port.
Three of the 17 men claimed to be under 18 years old. They were accompanied by seven women, two of them minors, all from Libya and Algeria. Two of them had symptoms of hypothermia and the rest were in generally good health.
The first of the boats was carrying nine people. It was attended a little before 11.15 hours by Salvamar Mirfak. The Maritime Rescue vessel then located a second boat with fifteen additional immigrants on board, which it rescued around midday.
The Salvamar Mirfak then landed the 24 immigrants in the port of Torrevieja, where they arrived around 2.30 pm. They were taken to the salt wharf, as seems increasingly to be the case, where a reception team, comprising the Civil Guard, Local Police and the Red Cross, was deployed to provide assistance.
The authorities will carry out tests to confirm the ages of the three youths who claim to be minors. In addition, the adults will all be processed and identified by the National Police and, later, by the court which will then begin to process their expulsion because of their illegal status.