Only an early-morning ferry linking Tarifa in southern Spain with Tangier in Morocco saved them from becoming another statistic. The men told rescuers they had set out on their 20-mile crossing several hours before - but they were still close to the Moroccan coast because their plastic oars proved futile against the powerful currents.
Last night, they were facing fines and jail after being returned to Morocco and handed to police.
Officials fear many of the thousands of Africans who try to reach Spain illegally each year die in the process, but there is no way of knowing exactly how many. Link