Baby born at sea rescued from migrant shipwreck

A newborn baby is among a group of migrants arriving in Italy after a rescue from a shipwreck in which 400 are feared to have lost their lives.

REGGIO CALABRIA, ITALY (APRIL 14, 2015) (REUTERS) – Some 670 migrants were brought to safety in Italy’s Reggio Calabria on Tuesday (April 14), among them survivors of a shipwreck in which hundreds are feared to have lost their lives.

Among the survivors disembarking the navy vessel on Tuesday morning was a baby girl born during the perilous sea journey. The baby’s parents, both Eritrean, had decided to name the girl “Lemlem”, local media reported.

Both mother and daughter were in a good condition and were taken to a local hospital for standard post-partum controls.

According to the survivors some 400 migrants died during the journey to Italy from Libya when their boat capsized.

The boat, carrying about 550 migrants in total, flipped about 24 hours after leaving the Libyan coast, according to some of the 144 survivors who were rescued and brought to Reggio Calabria, Save the Children reported.

Before this incident there had already been more than 500 deaths of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Africa this year, up sharply from 47 in the same period of 2014, said the Geneva-based International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

The number of boats carrying migrants aiming to reach the EU from Africa has picked up in recent weeks as fine spring weather makes the passage safer. In February, more than 300 drowned when attempting the crossing in cold weather and rough seas.

Save the Children, the IOM and other humanitarian organisations have called for the European Union to bolster its sea rescue operations before the migrant flows soar as they usually do in the summer months.