People attempting to cross the Mediterranean from north Africa into Europe have seized the opportunity in recent days, as sunny skies and calm seas offer a good weather window before winter sets in.
Point of view
A surge in the number of migrant boats being intercepted in the Mediterranean has added to the burden on the already stretched Italian coastguard.
Officials say that over 13,000 migrants have been plucked from the sea in just four days.
Recent estimates suggest that close to 150,000 migrants have travelled to Italy so far this year – but the country has been told to brace itself for even more arrivals during a “September assault”.