by Staff Writers
Rome (AFP) June 23, 2016
About 4,500 migrants were rescued from rubber dinghies in the Mediterranean on Thursday, the Italian coastguard said, averting another potential high seas disaster.
A coastguard spokesman said it appeared many people had left the Libyan coast to attempt the perilous voyage across the sea to Europe during a spell of good weather.
"We saved a total of about 4,500 people in about 40 rescue operations," the spokesman told AFP, adding the operations were continuing and the number may rise.
A body was found on board one of the rubber dinghies, he added.
Most of the migrants were on the dinghies, while two wooden boats were being used by Libyan people traffickers, the coastguard said.
"We registered a large number of voyages today, after several days of bad weather at sea had stopped people leaving Libya," the spokesman added.
The Italian navy also noted a mass movement of boats in the Mediterranean from "the first light of dawn."
Five navy ships took part in the rescue operations, together with two vessels from the EU's Operation Sophia, which was set up to combat human smuggling in the Mediterranean, and another four from humanitarian organisations.
More than 10,000 people have died crossing the Mediterranean to Europe in overcrowded boats since 2014, according to UN figures published earlier this month.
This year alone more than 50,000 migrants and asylum seekers from Africa have managed to complete the journey to Italy, a country that, like Greece, acts mainly as a gateway to northern Europe for most of the newcomers.
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|