MOSCOW (Sputnik) — A rescue ship, operated by SOS Mediterranee, a European association saving people at sea, rescued on Saturday 143 migrants, including women and children, in the Mediterranean, a French department of the association said.
"MS Aquarius rescued 143 people at the sea on Saturday morning, including 5 women and 47 minors originating from West Africa," SOS Mediterranee wrote on its Twitter page.
The operation reportedly took place about 25 miles off the coast of Tripoli, Libya.
Europe has been beset by a massive refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants fleeing their crisis-torn countries in the Middle East and North Africa to escape violence and poverty. The majority of them cross the Mediterranean Sea and arrive in the European Union using southern EU nations as transit points.