34 migrants rescued from blazing boat
Portuguese and Spanish rescue services have saved 34 migrants who leaped into the sea after their inflatable craft travelling from Morocco to Europe caught fire in the Mediterranean.
Video shot by a Portuguese Air Force plane shows the migrants wearing orange life vests jumping from the black dinghy after flames erupted near the craft’s outboard motor. The fire quickly spread and left burning debris on the water. Some migrants clung to what was left of the rubber craft.
A Portuguese Air Force statement says there was no obvious reason for the fire off the Spanish coast Sunday. The statement issued Monday said none of the people in the dinghy were hurt.
The plane co-ordinated a rescue effort, dropping a life raft into the sea and summoning a nearby fishing vessel. The statement said two Spanish coast guard vessels also helped to pick up the migrants.
Portuguese officials said the craft had come from the coast of Morocco. No details were available about the migrants’ nationalities.
In this image taken from video footage released by the Portuguese Air Force, migrants, wearing orange life vests, are seen in the water after jumping from their dinghy, Sunday. Portuguese and Spanish rescue services have saved 34 migrants who leaped into the sea after their inflatable craft traveling from Morocco to Europe caught fire in the Mediterranean.