A four-day-old baby was among nearly 500 migrants rescued trying to cross the Mediterranean on Saturday.The newborn girl was travelling on one of two rubber boats bound for Italy carrying more than 200 migrants from Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
The baby’s parents, a Nigerian woman, 29, and her husband, 34, from Ghana, were also rescued. Richard Ohene, the father, said: ‘We want to go to France or Germany, there is a future for our family there.’
The migrants were spotted by search and rescue ships drifting 22 nautical miles north of the Libyan town of Sabratha – the most common departure point for people smugglers in the north African country. The operation was carried out by Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms and lasted three hours.
The migrants were transferred to other vessels and were arriving in Italy yesterday and today.
Nearly 600 migrants have died so far this year trying to make the perilous crossing, and the flow shows no signs of stopping as families seek better lives in Europe. A total of 181,000 reached Italy last year.
The other rescued migrants, on board two other rubber boats, were rescued by staff on the supply vessel Vos Prudence, a spokesperson for the Coast Guard told Reuters.
Those migrants were due to reach Italy on Monday, but the destination is still unknown, the Coast Guard added.