European naval forces involved in EUNAVFOR MED operation Sophia have rescued 20,000 people in the Mediterranean since the start of the operation in June 2015.
Among 20,000 saved lives at sea, there were 1,040 children and 19 babies.
719 migrants were saved yesterday in a joint effort of EUNAVOR MED operation Sofia’s vessels, the Spanish Frigate ESPS Reina Sofia and the British Survey Vessel HMS Enterprise.
The rescue operations started after several rubber and wooden boats were spotted by the Luxemburgish Maritime Patrol Aircraft SW3 Merlin and the Italian helicopter SH90.
The British ship rescued 357 migrants from three rubber boats and one wooden boat and the Spanish frigate saved 362 people from three rubber boats and one fiber boat.
All migrants have been transferred on board the Spanish ship Reina Sofia, that also took other 122 migrants from an Italian coast guard vessel.
EUNAVFOR MED operation Sophia’s core mission is to disrupt the business model of human traffickers and smugglers.