Migrants: record numbers rescued in the Med

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By Catherine Hardy  with Reuters
Migrants: record numbers rescued in the Med

<p>Rescue ships took on thousands of survivors from dinghies in deteriorating weather in the Mediterranean between Friday and Sunday.</p> <p>Rescuers had to keep a close watch on around 1,000 migrants in vessels floating near their ship.</p> <p>They could not be picked up because the rescue vessel had reached capacity with others it had already picked up.</p> <h3>“Maximum capacity”</h3> <p>The operation began in the early hours of Saturday.</p> <p>The Migrant Offshore Aid Station (<span class="caps">MOAS</span>) Phoenix picked up 453 people.</p> <p>Medical cases, women and children were a priority.</p> <p>As maximum capacity was reached, life jackets, basic provisions and supervision were then administered to the more than 1,000 people who remained stranded on unseaworthy vessels.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="fr"align="center"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PressRelease?src=hash">#PressRelease</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MOAS?src=hash">#MOAS</a> conducts rescue of 1,500+ people from 9 vessels in 24hrs of uninterrupted ops. in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Mediterranean?src=hash">#Mediterranean</a> <a href="https://t.co/vi1SnGkgRf">https://t.co/vi1SnGkgRf</a> <a href="https://t.co/siyTdz7gj2">pic.twitter.com/siyTdz7gj2</a></p>— <span class="caps">MOAS</span> (@moas_eu) <a href="https://twitter.com/moas_eu/status/853488975935307777">16 avril 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="fr"align="center"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Preparing <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/easter?src=hash">#easter</a> dinner for some of the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/babies?src=hash">#babies</a> aboard of Phoenix <a href="https://t.co/WvkZVBL2ZN">pic.twitter.com/WvkZVBL2ZN</a></p>— ReginaCatrambone (@ReginaCatrambon) <a href="https://twitter.com/ReginaCatrambon/status/853689359010320384">16 avril 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <h3>The death toll</h3> <p>Officials say seven migrants died.</p> <h3><strong>Record numbers</strong></h3> <p>More than 2,000 rescues were conducted in the central Mediterranean by various search-and-rescue operations on Friday.</p> <p>The weekend is set to be the latest marker in the ongoing humanitarian crisis.</p> <p>According to the <a href="https://www.iom.int/fr">International Organisation for Migration</a>, nearly 32,000 migrants have arrived in Europe by sea so far this year.</p> <p>More than 650 have died or are missing.</p>