Naval forces rescued more than 1,500 North African migrants over the weekend in the Strait of Sicily, according to the Italian Navy.
The Portuguese Navy’s Offshore patrol vessel Viana do Castelo conducted its first rescue operations as part of the EU Operation Triton, which was launched on November 1.
All rescued migrants were transferred to ITS San Giorgio on Saturday and transported to Sicily.
Triton, which took over from the Italian Navy’s Operation Mare Nostrum, is European Union’s latest effort in helping protect protect the Italian coastline from African migrants.
Italian Operation Mare Nostrum was launched by the Italian government in October of 2013, following a migrant shipwreck in which over 300 people died off the coast of Lampedusa.
Naval Today Staff, Image: Italian Navy