An estimated 4400 migrants were rescued from boats off the coast of Libya on Saturday prompted by requests for help received from nearly two dozen boats, making it one of the largest single-day operations to date by the Italian coast guard.
The coast guard reported it had received distress calls from more than 20 vessels.
Over 2,000 people have died this year in attempts to use overcrowded wooden boats and inflatable dinghies to make it through the world’s most deadly crossing point for migrants, in efforts to reach Europe.
A boat reportedly belonging to Doctors without Borders rescued three hundred and eleven people, including a newborn baby.
Human Rights groups and humanitarian organizations say that the increase in the numbers of people making this dangerous journey is due to conflict and oppression in both Africa and the Middle East, and that the European governments should do more to create safe routes to Europe.