MADRID (AP) — Spain's maritime rescue service says it has rescued 55 migrants from a boat in which they were trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea.

The service says a non-governmental organization warned authorities on Tuesday about the boat with 53 men and two women on board.

A rescue plane and a vessel were dispatched and the migrants were pulled from the boat 13 miles (20 kilometers) southwest of Alboran Island, which lies midway between the coasts of northern Africa and southern Spain.

The service says the migrants, all from sub-Saharan countries, are in good health.

Thousands of refugees and economic migrants attempt the perilous sea crossing from Africa in hopes of reaching European shores each year. Human traffickers often pack them into small boats unfit for the open waters.

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