Early on the morning of Boxing Day (December 26), rescue workers spotted more than 130 migrants stranded in the Mediterranean, some 40 kilometres off the coast of Libya.
They were sitting in three small dinghies, ill-equipped for the windy winter crossing, when they were finally picked up by Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms.
Rescue workers handed out lifejackets before transferring the migrants to the NGO's main ship.
Thirty-six children were among the rescued, most of whom were unaccompanied.
In all, more than 370 migrants have been rescued in the Mediterranean since Christmas Day.
Many arrived in the Italian port of Augusta, Sicily, on Thursday (December 28) aboard the SOS Mediterranee ship Aquarius.
The migrants come from 18 different countries and include pregnant women and children as young as 13.
Migrant arrivals to Italy have fallen by two-thirds since July as Libyan authorities crack down on people smugglers.
Italy is also bolstering the Libyan coast guard’s ability to turn back boats.