Around 500 have people died off the Libyan coast in the first quarter of 2018, according to the International Organization for Migration.
The pair had originally hoped to crowdfund the money for their plane, but realised it would take too long.
Fuentes said: “It would have taken too much time. Spring is here, boats are starting to leave Tripoli again. When the humanitarian agency SOS-Mediterranée explained that they were having to rescue canoes from the waves already, we realised that we could be useful immediately.”
The duo’s plane is equipped with an automatic pilot so the pair can keep their eyes on the sea to search for stricken boats.
It can fly for 10 hours before needing to refuel.
The plane also has a satellite communication system to allow it to speak to humanitarian agencies.