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1,800 Migrants Were Rescued From the Mediterranean Yesterday — Along With 14 Bodies

The crew of an Irish navy vessel found the bodies on a barge floating off the Libyan coast, and said the victims likely died from overcrowding and exhaustion.

by VICE News
Jul 28 2015, 5:55pm

Imagen por Alessandro Fucarini/AP

VICE News is closely watching the international migrant crisis.Check out the Open Water blog here.

A total of 1,800 migrants were rescued from the Mediterranean on Monday, according to the Italian coastguard, which also reported that 14 bodies were recovered.

The Irish Times reported that the crew of the Irish Naval Service ship LÉ Niamh discovered 14 corpses below the deck of a barge floating approximately 80 kilometers (49 miles) northwest of Libya. A total of 210 migrants and refugees, including 35 children, were taken from the vessel.

Related: The European Union Still Can't Agree on How to Relocate Migrants Stuck in Greece and Italy

The rescuers reportedly suspect that the boat left Tripoli early Monday morning, and accounts from the survivors suggested that a combination of overcrowding and exhaustion might have caused the fatalities. The rescued migrants hailed from Palestine, Morocco, Eritrea, Sudan, Syria, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

Ships taking part in the European Union's border security operation Triton carried out four other operations on Monday, according to AFP.

Last Wednesday, the LÉ Niamh brought 370 rescued migrants to the Palermo harbor in Sicily. Fourteen pregnant women were among the people rescued, and a baby was born the Irish ship during the operation.

According to figures released earlier this month by the International Organization for Migration, some 1,900 migrants have died in the Mediterranean so far this year — double the amount that perished over the same period in 2014. The organization also estimated that some 150,000 migrants have reached Europe by sea to date this year, almost all bound for Italy and Greece.

Related: Some 150,000 Migrants Have Reached Europe This Year — 1,900 Have Not

Watch the VICE News documentary, Migrant Prisons of Libya: Europe or Die: