Humanitarian organisations have rescued hundreds of migrants from rickety boats in the Mediterranean sea. Rough cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Some 700 migrants were rescued at sea on Wednesday (April 5) by humanitarian groups operating rescue ships off the coast of Libya, Italy's coast guard said. The Phoenix rescue ship, operated by the Malta-based non-governmental organisation MOAS, rescued more than 300 people from three boats in international waters off the coast of the Libyan city of Sabratha. Most of the migrants seemed to be exhausted, almost collapsing once they had reached the safety of the MOAS ship. The boats that had been used by the migrants were burnt at sea in order to stop them being reused by people smugglers. The number of migrants arriving in Italy on boats from North Africa is up some 30 percent so far this year, according to official data released last week.