Thousands of migrants rescued off Libya coast

Refugee and Migrant Crisis

AFP photo

Italy’s coast guard rescued more than 4,650 migrants off the Libyan coast on Tuesday, bringing the total people brought to safety in the last 48 hours — to 11,000.

The Italian coast guard said the mostly-African migrants were rescued from 33 boats, including dozens of rubber dinghies and one wooden boat.

AFP photo

AFP photo

Within the last 48 hours, 28 bodies have been recovered off the Libyan coast, at the same time, three women have given birth, enroute to Sicily, after being rescued. All are said to be in good health. An AFP photographer accompanied the coast guard on its rescue mission — bearing witness to the terror and joy.

The Italian Coast Guard’s Astral was able to haul hundreds to safety — but dozens of people died from suffocation due to toxic fumes or were crushed by fellow shipmates as they tried to find safety on board the overcrowded boats.

Story by CCTV America with information from Reuters and AFP.