Spanish officials say they have rescued about 650 migrants from 16 boats crossing the Mediterranean from North Africa to Europe, finding one dead woman among them.
Officials rescue services told Spanish private news agency Europa Press on Friday the woman was with about 50 other people encountered on a boat, whose owner was taken into custody.
The rescues occurred Thursday in the so-called Alboran Sea, east of the Strait of Gibraltar. Spanish authorities pulled three bodies from the sea there on Wednesday.
The Mediterranean is a deadly route for migrants trying to enter Europe illegally, with at least 1,857 deaths recorded so far this year.
The Geneva-based International Organization for Migration said last month that 45,145 men, women and children entered Spain through the western Mediterranean route through Oct. 21 more than in the previous three years combined.