10 migrants died and around 5,800 were rescued off Libya in a series of operations launched over the last several days, the Italian Navy and the Italian Coast Guard report.
Seven bodies were found on two of the rubber boats carrying migrants desperate to escape poverty and conflicts, while the remaining three bodies were plucked from the sea. The three men found in the water reportedly jumped from the boat when they saw a merchant ship approaching.
Apart from the Italian Navy and the Italian Coast Guard, one French ship took part in the rescue operations on behalf of European border control agency.
Several merchant ships and a vessel owned by a privately-run Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) also participated in the rescue operations.
The rescued migrants are being transported to the island of Lampedusa, as well as to Sicily.
These rescue operations come just two weeks after the worst maritime disaster in the Mediterranean in which around 900 people died after their boat overturned.
Prompted by this unprecedented tragedy, the European Union tripled the funding for its sea patrol mission Triton, as part of the adopted 10-point plan of action. However, the EU has still to come up with a solution on what to do with migrants once they reach Europe.
World Maritime News Staff; Image: Marina Militare