European charity rescues 113 migrants off the coast of Libya

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By Euronews  with AFP
File: The Ocean Viking rescue ship.
File: The Ocean Viking rescue ship.   -   Copyright  AFP

European charity SOS Mediterranée said its Ocean Viking vessel has rescued 113 migrants off the coast of Libya on Monday night.

The group, which included 30 unaccompanied minors and 23 women, was attempting to make the crossing in a rubber boat.

Some of the people were in a precarious condition, and were helped aboard rubber dingies and taken to the organisation’s rescue ship where they were assisted by the NGO and members of the Red Cross.

SOS Mediterranée spokeswoman Méryl Sotty said they were now waiting to find out where they would be allowed to disembark.

Italy plans tougher controls

This latest rescue comes as Italy's most right-wing government in decades is studying measures to limit the action of NGOs working to rescue migrants at sea.

It said it wanted to discourage charity rescue missions, claiming that they essentially help facilitate smugglers' business.

The government's decision to go ahead with its so-called "security decree" could be reached in the next few days.

If confirmed, it will mean that NGO ships can only carry out one rescue before immediately informing the Coast Guard and requesting the assignment of a 'safe port'.

But humanitarian groups warn that the planned compulsory code of conduct forcing ships to enter a port after each rescue will prevent them from saving more lives.

For more watch Euronews' report in the video above.