Dramatic day in Mediterranean: More than 2000 migrants rescued at sea

Proactiva Open Arms crew conduct a search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean sea 14 nautic miles from the Libyan coast Thursday

Proactiva Open Arms crew conduct a search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean sea 14 nautic miles from the Libyan coast Thursday

(CNN) - Italian authorities were still bringing migrants and refugees to shore Monday after one of the busiest weekends ever for rescue services operating in the central Mediterranean sea.

An Italian coast guard spokesman said 19 rescue operations by the coast guard or ships operated by non-governmental organisations had saved a total of 2,074 migrants on 16 rubber dinghies and three small wooden boats.

Frontex has been contacted for comment.

Two of the charity ships, each filled beyond capacity after rescuing scores of migrants from rubber dinghies and unseaworthy wooden fishing vessels, made May Day calls to the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center run by the Italian Coast Guard in Rome to ask for assistance on Sunday. "We are where we're needed, what's the European Union doing meanwhile?"

Those frustrations are echoed by the other NGOs, with numerous rescue operators tweeting accusations directly against the European Union and Frontex.

Jugend Rette, a German NGO involved in the rescuing of migrants, told AFP that good spring weather has led to increased numbers of people attempting the unsafe crossing in recent days, Deutsche Welle reports.

In all, Italy's coast guard coordinated about 20 separate rescues on Friday.

Sami said the weekend's work had a frenetic pace, to the point where some humanitarian agents involved in the rescues worked for 40 hours straight.

Officials in northern France say an operation to shelter more than 1,000 migrants has ended, five days after the camp they were staying in outside the port city of Dunkirk burned down. Some 97 migrants are missing in that incident.

The migrants, most looking to cross the English Channel to Britain, were without shelter after a fire ravaged the wooden shelters of the Grande-Synthe camp, opened a year ago by Doctors Without Borders.

A Somali migrant carries her 12-day-old baby on board a rigid-hulled inflatable boat. One man was found dead on one of the rafts. "We are just lucky we got out of Libya alive".

Recommended News

  • Serena Williams is 20 weeks pregnant

    Other female tennis players have had children and returned to the tennis circuit with great success. However, Kerber can regain the world number one ranking that week in Stuttgart.
    Ryan plays OT hero in Game 3 win over Bruins

    Ryan plays OT hero in Game 3 win over Bruins

    The B's entered the first intermission down 2-0 at TD Garden, and quickly fell behind 3-0 early in the second period. The first game we were tentative in the third period and (Saturday) we were too aggressive in the second period.
    Brighton return to Premier League after 34-year absence

    Brighton return to Premier League after 34-year absence

    Today, Brighton & Hove Albion have the chance to win promotion to the Premier League on their home turf, for the first time ever. Goals from Glenn Murray and Solly March were enough for the leaders, despite a late strike from Nick Powell.
  • Messi is Messi, I'm Paulo, says Dybala

    Messi is Messi, I'm Paulo, says Dybala

    One Italian sports newspaper ran the headline "The New Messi" above a picture of Dybala, while another went with "Messi who?" Barcelona was beaten 3-0 in the first leg of the quarter final of the Champions League against Juventus on Tuesday.

    CP commemorates the centennial of the Battle of Vimy Ridge

    They represented every region of Canada and fought for the values we hold so dear-freedom, democracy and peace. They've been in the country since Thursday, visiting historic sites from the First World War.
    Paris police say officer and attacker shot, killed

    Paris police say officer and attacker shot, killed

    He was convicted in that attack and had a criminal record because of involvement in violent robberies, the source said. A police officer stands guard after a fatal shooting on the Champs Elysees in Paris, France, Thursday, April 20, 2017.
  • Kevin Durant optimistic of playing in Warriors' Game 3 at Portland

    Kevin Durant optimistic of playing in Warriors' Game 3 at Portland

    After the game, he gave credit to Ron Adams, who might be able to turn even the worst defenders into adequate showmen on that end. Let's take a look at what worked for the starting lineup, and what needs to change before tonight's game. "We have confidence.
    North Korea threatens 'super-mighty' strike on U.S.

    North Korea threatens 'super-mighty' strike on U.S.

    US Vice President Mike Pence vowed on Wednesday that the United States would counter any North Korean attack with an "overwhelming and effective" response.
    NEW INFORMATION: Reward for manhunt suspect increases to $20K

    NEW INFORMATION: Reward for manhunt suspect increases to $20K

    The FBI says that they have increased the reward to $20,000 for information leading to the whereabouts of Joseph Jakubowski. The sheriff's office also released a video that appears to show Jakubowski mailing a package to Trump.
  • Premier League Sunderland, West Ham draw 2 - 2

    The Black Cats' goal drought ended after 701 tortuous minutes when Wahbi Khazri's corner caught the wind and flew in. West Ham does lead the season series as they defeated Sunderland 1-0 in February at home.
    Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) Rises 0.25% in Pre-Session Trading

    Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) Rises 0.25% in Pre-Session Trading

    Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 170,546 shares in the company, valued at approximately $48,823,908.88. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link .
    Trump on Paris attack:

    Trump on Paris attack: "What can you say? It just never ends"

    "It just never ends", he said of global terror threats after a gunman opened fire near the Franklin Roosevelt subway station. The latest incident came just three days after a tense first round of elections for a new French President.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.