A total of 371 migrants who were rescued from boats in the Mediterranean Sea arrive in Sicily's Trapani. No reporter narration.
(ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION) A total of 371 migrants who were rescued from boats in the Mediterranean Sea arrived in Sicily's Trapani on Saturday (September 16), as the humanitarian organisation SOS Mediterranee said it was incorrect to assume that the flow of migrants in the area had diminished. The migrants, mainly of African origin, were rescued in international waters off the Libyan coast and taken to port by the SOS Mediterranee vessel Aquarius. The Aquarius rescued a total of 262 migrants in two operations on Thursday (September 14). The migrants were rescued from two rubber boats which SOS Mediterranee said could have broken or deflated at any moment after having sailed for several hours in the sea. A further 109 people rescued by the vessel Vos Hestia, chartered by Save the Children, were transferred onto the Aquarius on Thursday evening. The migrants disembarking at the port of Trapani included 56 women, seven children under the age of five, including a one-week-old newborn, and 48 unaccompanied minors, SOS Mediterranee said in a press release. Arrivals in Italy from North Africa, the main route for migration to Europe this year, dropped by more than 50 percent in July from a year earlier. The decline is put down to armed groups stopping migrant boats from setting off across the Mediterranean from a city west of Tripoli that has been a springboard for people smugglers. The Italian-trained Libyan coastguard is also turning around migrant boats before they reach international waters and sending them back to Libya. Several NGOs have ceased to operate in the Mediterranean after increasing hostility from the Libyan authorities and the coastguard.