More than 5,000 migrants trying to reach Europe have been rescued in the Central Mediterranean over the weekend.
British, Maltese, Belgian and Italian vessels and Icelandic and Finnish planes deployed in EU operation Triton coordinated by Frontex were fully engaged in this rescue effort.
Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri said:
This is the biggest wave of migrants we have seen in 2015. The new vessels that joined operation Triton this week have already saved hundreds of people.
The rescue operations, which began last Friday, involved migrants who departed from Libya on 25 boats.
During the incidents, the rescuers also recovered seventeen bodies.
The migrants will be disembarked at the Italian ports of Lampedusa, Crotone, Pozzallo, Augusta, Trapani, Porto Empedocle, Palermo, Taranto and Cagliari.
Yesterday, Frontex was involved in additional five rescue operations that involved more than 500 migrants.
Since the beginning of the year over 36 000 migrants arrived in Italy, this figure does not include migrants rescued this weekend.
Image: Royal Navy