Seven men rescued from the sea off Detached Mole
Seven men rescued from the sea in the early hours of yesterday morning remained in police custody last night as officers worked to ascertain their identities.
Events unfolded at 12.30am on Friday when the Gibraltar Port Authority received a call from crew on a tanker stating they could see people in the water. A pilot launch was dispatched immediately to the area.
Port officials rescued seven men from the sea and brought them ashore where the Royal Gibraltar Police were waiting. Once they received medical treatment and care they were taken into police custody at New Mole House.
An official statement from the Port said: “In the early hours of the 28th July 2017 the Gibraltar Port Authority (GPA) duty Port Officer received a call from the stationed vessel SKS Tanaro to report that there were people in the water outside the harbour to the west of the Detached Mole.”
“The GPA initiated a rescue plan and requested the assistance of the pilot boat which was in the vicinity to render assistance. Seven men were recovered and brought ashore.”
“The RGP, Ambulance Service and the Border and Coastguard Agency were immediately informed and attended the scene.”
“All seven rescued men were taken into custody by the RGP.”
The RGP were still questioning the men last night and as a result were unable to provide the Chronicle with information such as their nationality and age, although some are believed to be juveniles.
It is also unknown if the males are migrants and, if so, whether they were aiming to land in Spain or Gibraltar.
The RGP conducted further searches of the area on Thursday night and yesterday. However, they are not aware of any missing persons.
It also confirmed that it was liaising with the Spanish authorities on the matter.
Meanwhile, the Spanish authorities arrested one person on suspicion of human trafficking after 10 Moroccan migrants were brought ashore yesterday.
The Guardia Civil intercepted a vessel in the area between Tarifa and Algeciras with nine men and one woman on-board.
The Guardia Civil requested that the skipper of the boat stop but those instructions were ignored and he attempted to flee.
The officers then jumped into the vessel, where they arrested the alleged trafficker.
The Red Cross attended to the migrants and all were found in good health. They were then handed over to the Policia Nacional for processing.
In addition, a Spanish Search and Rescue Helicopter was in the Strait and Bay of Gibraltar yesterday, at one stage two miles off Europa Point, carrying out a search pattern of the area.