The Italian coastguard has released a video of its night-time rescue of more than 130 migrants off the coast of Sicily early on October 26. Those brought safely to shore included several women and children.
Italy has increased patrols in its southern waters since more than 360 migrants drowned in October when their boat capsized off the island of Lampedusa.
Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta has urged EU leaders to increase aid to prevent further disasters. He also said desperate people would not stop making the perilous journey to reach Europe.
Speaking in Paris, Letta said: “I do not think that things will change with the arrival of the winter. That’s not it. Because if people flee failed states – states where there is no democracy, states where there is persecution, terrorism – they will flee whether there is good weather or bad weather. And tragedies will continue.”
According to the United Nations, more than 32,000 migrants have journeyed to southern Italy by boat so far this year.