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55 migrants rescued in the central Mediterranean

*For illustration purposes only* Migrants with life jackets provided by volunteers of the Ocean Viking in the Mediterranean Sea, on Aug. 27,2022.   -  
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Jeremias Gonzalez/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved

Mediterranean Sea

Italian charity Emergency vessel "Life Support" rescued migrants from Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Eritrea, Nigeria, Palestine, Sudan and Somalia on Saturday (Apr. 15) afternoon.

Among the rescued were women, three children and three unaccompanied minors. The charity expected three days of sailing to reach their assigned location of disembarkation Marina di Carrara located in northern Italy.

Emanuele Nannini, the head of mission of Emergency Life Support, detailed the operation: "Life Support, Emergency’s search and rescue vessel, has just accomplished the rescue of 55 people from a rubber boat which was drifting away from the Libyan coasts. They left from 12 hours but their outboard engine was out of service since hours."

According to the U.N. migration agency, the first three months of 2023 were the deadliest first quarter in six years for migrants crossing the central Mediterranean Sea in smugglers’ boats, citing nations' delays in initiating rescues as a contributing factor.

The International Organization for Migration documented 441 migrant deaths along the dangerous sea route between northern Africa and Europe’s southern shores during January, February and March. In 2017, 742 known deaths were documented in the same period, while 446 were recorded in the first three months of 2015.