A German migrant rescue vessel saved 44 migrants off the coast of Libya on Monday, including three young children.
NGO Sea-Eye said the migrants were found on a wooden boat off the coast of Lampedusa. The Maltese Navy assisted in the rescue.
Sea-Eye said the migrants were from Syria, Libya, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Guinea, and they left the Libyan port city of Zuwara on Saturday.
“We are incredibly happy that we could be in the right place again at the right time,” Sea-Eye spokeswoman Carlotta Weibl said. “A 15-month-old baby should never have to be in such a life-threatening situation.”
While Malta agreed to take the migrants to land, some nations have refused to accept refugees. Italian authorities arrested the captain of a migrant rescue vessel last month after it docked into a port off Lampedusa after a two-week standoff. In that case, the Sea-Watch 3 rescued about 40 migrants but sat in the Mediterranean Sea after Italy closed its shores. Sea-Watch 3 captain Carola Rackete was arrested after docking and fined.