ROME (AP) — Charity ships rescued nearly 450 migrants from a wooden boat that was taking on water in the Mediterranean Sea, aid groups said Sunday, while dozens of mostly Tunisian migrants reached the Italian island of Sardinia unaided.
The French humanitarian group SOS Mediterranee tweeted Sunday that its rescue vessel Ocean Viking, along with Sea-Watch 3, a ship operated by a German charity, and well as another German humanitarian boat Resqship, had worked together in a five-hour long rescue attempt.
The charity groups said they were awaiting permission to dock at some southern European port to disembark their passengers.
Separately, dozens of migrants, most of them from Tunisia, reached the southern shores of Sardinia, an Italian island, over the weekend, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.
Italian media also said a sailboat carrying 13 migrants from Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran was spotted by Italian coast guard and customs vessels near Italy’s southeastern tip of Puglia on Saturday. Those passengers were taken safely ashore.
On the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa, the arrival of multiple smuggling boats filled with migrants, many of which reached shore in the last few days, has swollen the number of people housed in Lampedusa’s migrant processing center to hundreds beyond its capacity. One migrant gave birth shortly after reaching the island, Italian media said.
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