Ocean Viking rescues 38 migrants in the Mediterranean

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Crews aboard a humanitarian rescue ship rescued 38 people on Sunday from a small fiberglass boat adrift in the Mediterranean.

Several children and one woman were among those rescued by teams aboard the SOS Mediterranee operated Ocean Viking vessel, officials said.

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The rescue ship now has 73 migrants on board.

Warm weather and calm seas in southern Europe and the Mediterranean have led to a sharp increase in migrants boats arriving in recent days.

Nearly 300 migrants disembarked in the southern Italian port of Taranto on Saturday after their rescue at sea in five different operations by the crew of a humanitarian vessel operated by Doctors Without Borders.

About half of the 293 rescued passengers on the Geo Barents were unaccompanied minors, according to the operators of the mission.

In a separate operation early Saturday, the Ocean Viking saved about 35 migrants, including three children, in international waters off Malta.

Rescuers on Sunday were searching the waters near a southern Italian island for a two-week-old baby reported missing after a migrant boat capsized.

Italian authorities said the boat overturned a day earlier near the uninhabited islet of Lampione, which is part of the archipelago including Lampedusa, a tourist island where many rescued migrants are sheltered.

Italy for more than a decade has been grappling with how to stem the flow of what has added up to hundreds of thousands of migrants, most of whom depart from Libya, Tunisia or other southern Mediterranean points, on smugglers’ boats in hopes of reaching Italian shores.

Most of these migrants see their asylum bids fail, because they are fleeing poverty not war or persecution.

Italy’s new far-right premier, Giorgia Meloni, who took office on Saturday, vowed during her campaign to crack down on illegal immigration.

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