Rescued migrants arrive in Sicily

Italian Red Cross personnel help migrants rescued from the Mediterranean arriving at Porto Empedocle in Sicily.

PORTO EMPEDOCLE, SICILY, ITALY (FEBRUARY 17, 2015) (REUTERS) – More than 600 migrants were taken to the Sicilian port of Porto Empedocle on Tuesday (February 17)

onboard a Navy vessel after being rescued at sea by Italian coast guards and merchant vessels.

The migrants have been rescued in more than ten operations at sea over the past few days.

Rescue personnel carried women and young children off the vessel, while hundreds of others waited on the ship’s deck to step on to land.

The migrants were then assisted by members of the Italian Red Cross, before being placed in buses and driven to local help centres.

The Italian coast guard on Sunday (February 15) said officers went to the rescue of at least 1,000 migrants in difficulty in the sea between Europe and North Africa, the third operation of its kind in as many days.

Better weather since last week has encouraged migrants to make the perilous journey from North Africa, where a breakdown of order in Libya has made it almost impossible to police the traffickers who pack people onto the boats.