Italy rescues 3,300 migrants adrift off Libyan coast

Italy rescues 3,300 migrants adrift off Libyan coast
Thousands more people brought to safety after smugglers use good weather conditions to increase the launching of boats.
2 min read
27 June, 2016
An Italian naval rescue mission in 2015 [Anadolu]

The Italian coastguard and navy have rescued more than 3,300 people who were on adrift in an area of the Mediterranean 56 kilometers (35 miles) north of the Libyan coastal town of Sabratha. 

The migrants were travelling on 25 rubber dinghies and one boat.

According to Italian authorities, a recent spell of favourable weather has prompted people-smugglers to launch numerous boats packed with people desperate to reach Europe's shores. 

Many of those who undertake the perilous journey across the Mediterranean in unseaworthy boats are fleeing conflict in their home countries, including many hundreds of thousands from Libya, Syria and Sub-Saharan Africa.

This latest rescue mission comes after another 4,500 people were delivered to safety by the Italian coastguard on Thursday.

Migrants at Messina
Migrants arriving at the Italian port of Messina in March [Anadolu]

The arrival of millions of refugees and migrants into Europe has become a huge cause for concern among many in the continent, with the issue of immigration possibly playing a key role in British voters' decision to leave the European Union on Thursday.

A rightward shift in European politics caused by such concerns has had some migrants and refugees fearful for their future prospects.

In one Facebook group used by asylum seekers called "The Travellers' Platforms," one person wrote: "The far right in Europe is against the refugees and with the exit from Europe, they are celebrating today and they will get stronger," following the UK's decision to 'Brexit'.

Many others, however, seem undeterred by changes within Europe, and are still willing to go to lengths to escape conflict and poor economic conditions in their home countries.