Humanitarian vessel saves 76 migrants in Mediterranean waters

A humanitarian rescue vessel rescued 76 migrants from an overcrowded wooden boat in the Mediterranean Sea and is en route to the southern Italian port of Naples, according to the charity’s announcement on Saturday.

On Saturday, an additional vessel transporting 59 migrants who were rescued reached Porto Empedocle in southern Sicily, highlighting the increasing numbers of individuals attempting the hazardous journey across the central Mediterranean.

Among the 76 individuals rescued on Friday night in international waters within the Maltese Search and Rescue zone, there were 24 children and seven women, as reported by the charity EMERGENCY.

Crowded on the deck, they greeted the EMERGENCY crew with waves and cheers as they spotted them arriving on a rubber dinghy launched from the primary rescue vessel.

The migrant-carrying boat, measuring 12 meters, departed from Libya on Thursday evening. The individuals rescued hailed from Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Syria, according to the statement.

Italian authorities played a role in facilitating the rescue operation, and the charity vessel, named the Life Support, is anticipated to arrive in Naples on Monday.

Open Arms, another charitable organization involved in Mediterranean missions, reported that its Astral rescue yacht has reached Sicily, transporting 59 individuals, including five children, two of whom are merely a few weeks old.

Open Arms had requested Italian authorities to designate a port after revealing that they had initially been instructed to return the migrants to Tunisia.

Italy, a significant entry point into Europe for numerous asylum seekers and migrants, has witnessed approximately 95,000 sea arrivals this year based on interior ministry data. This figure is more than double the count for the same period in the previous year.

The central Mediterranean stands as one of the planet’s most perilous migration paths, with over 22,000 individuals reported deceased or missing in its waters since 2014, as reported by the International Organization for Migration.

Similarly on Saturday, a tragic incident occurred where a migrant boat capsized while attempting to cross the Channel from France to Britain, resulting in the loss of at least six lives and the rescue of over 50 individuals.

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