Calm seas, greedy smugglers: Italy saves over 6000 migrants


According to the International Organization for Migration, almost 32,000 migrants have arrived in Europe by sea so far this year.

Over 2,000 people were saved on Friday and 3,000 on Saturday, the Italian Coast Guard said.

An eight-year-old boy was among the dead, rescue workers said. DARRIN ZAMMIT LUPI/REUTERS Migrants rest on the deck of the Malta-based NGO Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) ship Phoenix, April 14, 2017.

Her husband and co-MOAS founder Christopher Catrambone said that this weekend's events was unprecedented and that it was a "miracle" that MOAS managed to rescue everyone with no casualties.

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The humanitarian group MOAS said Sunday that it had helped several hundred migrants in dinghies and wooden boats over a 24-hour period.

The Iuventa rescue ship operated by the German NGO Jugend Rettet reported navigational failure under the weight of the migrants and the German NGO Sea Eye also reported difficulty due to overcrowding.

The spokesman confirmed one person had died but gave no details.

The improving Spring weather may have factored into the sudden surge of ocean crossings.

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The refugees tried to cross the Mediterranean aboard inflatable rafts and wooden boats, the news agency specified.

The Sophia program is created to destroy smuggler's ships after rescues are complete and to train the Libyan Coast Guard to stop boats from leaving. Just 23 men were rescued, clinging to a flotation device.

Libyan Red Crescent volunteers are seen near the bodies of 74 refugees that were washed ashore, near Zawiyah, on Libya's northern coast, on February 20, 2017.

Although the Mediterranean migrant crisis has subsided from its 2015 peak, the Libyan trafficking situation prompted European Union leaders to agree a plan of action.

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The International Organization of Migration says 666 people have been logged as dead or missing off the Libyan coast so far this year out of an estimated 27,000 who have tried to reach Italy from Libya.