Easter weekend recorded an “unprecedented” 8,500 migrants getting rescued in the Mediterranean Sea as they tried to reach Italy.
A total of 55 rescue operations took place between Friday and Sunday. Thirteen dead bodies, including a pregnant woman and small child, were also recovered by NGOs and the Italian coast guard.
The Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) told Sky that seven rubber and two wooden vessels carried between 1,500 and 1,800 migrants. MOAS needed 453 people on board its own ships to save the migrants from “unseaworthy” conditions.
“Nobody has ever seen anything like what we are witnessing this weekend,” MOAS founder Christopher Catrambone told Sky Sunday. “It is a miracle that we have managed to rescue everyone with no casualties today. We are still conducting operations with a new boat contact spotted early this morning.”
The International Organization of Migration have recorded 913 migrant deaths so far this year in the Mediterranean. An estimated 27,000 have tried to reach Italy from Libya. Around 5,000 deaths were recorded in 2016.
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