Rome, May 23 (IANS/AKI) An Italian navy vessel on Monday rescued 385 migrants from the Mediterranean on Monday including 42 women and 40 children, among them a newborn baby.
“They are all in good health, some have a few minor medical problems but nothing serious,” the captain of the ‘Bettica’ navy frigate, Francesco Iavazzo, told Adnkronos.
The migrants were rescued in a number of operations with backup from an Irish navy vessel that had rescued more than 300 people in ongoing operations, Iavazzo said.
“The rise in the number of crossings is probably due to the good weather as it’s easier to sail when the sea is calm.”
Libyan coastguard intercepted seven boats off Sabratha, west of Tripoli earlier on Monday with a total 850 people on board. The passengers included 79 women of whom eleven were pregnant, the coastguard said.
So far this year, some 189,000 people have arrived in Europe by sea, including around 156,000 in Greece and 32,000 in Italy as the continent’s worst refugee and migrant crisis since World War II continues.
Some 1.1 million people reached Europe in 2015, fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.