A four-day-old baby was one of over 480 migrants rescued by humanitarian ships on Saturday during search and rescue operations in the central Mediterranean Sea.
The baby was traveling on one of two rubber boats carrying over 200 migrants from North and Central Africa, Sri Lanka and Yemen and seen drifting some 22 nautical miles north of the Libyan town of Sabratha, the most frequently used departure point currently used by people smugglers in Libya.
The operation was carried out by Spanish NGO Proactive Open arms and lasted three hours. Migrants were transferred into the former fishing trawler Golfo Azzurro, expected to reach the Sicilian port town of Augusta on Sunday afternoon.
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.
“A week ago, I collected a dead body from the Mediterranean for the first time, and (Saturday) I carried a new life,” Daniel Calvelo, the 26-year-old who transferred the baby from the raft into the rescue boat, told Reuters.
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