Many of those rescued sustained severe fuel burns: some of them had severe fuel burns due to the mixing of gasoline and seawater. Late on Thursday, the NGO said the Sea-Watch 3 rescued 33 migrants from two boats intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard in the Mediterranean search and rescue area designated for Malta. They included nine unaccompanied minors, three children and a seven-month pregnant woman. The people rescued came from South Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco, Ivory Coast and Mali.
One witness reported that several migrants were already on board the Libyan coast guard ship but jumped into the sea when they saw the NGO ship approaching. All were brought on board by the crew of the Sea-Watch 3.
During a second mission at dawn on Friday, Sea-Watch 3 rescued more than 60 people from an overcrowded wooden boat in the Libyan search and rescue area. Most of those rescued were Libyans. Among the migrants treated for injuries aboard the Sea-Watch 3 on Friday were a father and son who were burned after a fire broke out in their boat. Others were burned with fuel.
The number of migrant boats leaving Libya and Tunisia for Italy and other parts of Europe has increased in good weather in recent months. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), more than 1,100 people have died in the Mediterranean while fleeing conflict and poverty in Africa and the Middle East.
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