ROME – Some 4,500 migrants were rescued from rubber dinghies and a wooden boat in the Mediterranean on Tuesday, Italy’s coast guard said, as the sea calmed after a rough weekend.
More than 67,000 migrants have arrived in Italy by sea so far this year, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said before the coast guard reported the latest rescues.
Arrivals are down from the same period of 2015, but the number of deaths on the perilous route has jumped. Ten women were found dead in the bottom of a rubber boat last week .
The coast guard said it had coordinated more than 30 rescue operations, which were carried out by its own ship, the Diciotti, Italian navy ships, and vessels working for EU border agency Frontex and humanitarian organisations.
Giving its latest estimate on Tuesday for the number of people who have crossed the Mediterranean this year, the IOM said most of the boats set off from Libya, followed by Egypt.