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Four people found dead off Spain, others missing after boat overturns

One survivor, bodies are recovered in waters of Strait of Gibraltar between Morocco and southern Spain
Migrants on coast guard vessel arrive at Spanish port of Malaga earlier this year (AFP/file photo)

At least four migrants were found dead off Spain on Sunday, while others who had been on board a make-shift boat are missing, rescuers said.

The bodies were recovered in the waters of the Strait of Gibraltar between Morocco and southern Spain. The emergency services of Andalusia had warned of bad weather and strong winds in the strait.

Rescuers found one survivor who said there had been 12 people on board when the boat left Tangiers early Sunday, a spokesman for the maritime rescuers told AFP.

"The survivor said that when the boat overturned, of the 12 who had tried to make the crossing, only three remained" on board - the survivor and two of the dead, the spokesman said, adding that the cause of their deaths was not immediately known.

The nationalities of the migrants were also not yet known.

The association Helena Maleno, in contact with migrants wanting to reach Spain, had raised the alarm on social media at midday about looking for a migrant boat in the Strait of Gibraltar.

Between the start of the year and 25 March, about 120 migrants have lost their lives trying to reach Spain by sea, according to the International Organization for Migration.

During that same period, almost 500 migrants have died in dangerous crossings of the Mediterranean.