October 3, 2016 / 5:32 PM / 3 years ago

Over 5,600 migrants plucked from sea in a single day - Italian coastguard

An overcrowded dinghy with migrants from different African countries is escorted by members of the German NGO Jugend Rettet as they approach the Iuventa vessel during a rescue operation, off the Libyan coast in the Mediterranean Sea September 21, 2016. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

ROME (Reuters) - At least 5,650 migrants were rescued on Monday as they tried to reach Europe on about 40 boats, one of the highest numbers in a single day, Italy’s coast guard said.

A spokeswoman said one migrant had died and a pregnant woman had been taken by helicopter to a hospital on the Italian island of Lampedusa, halfway between Sicily and the Libyan coast.

One coast guard ship rescued about 725 migrants on a single rubber boat, one of some 20 rescue operations during the day. Three were still under way and the spokeswoman said the number saved could reach 6,000 by the end of the day.

About 10 ships from the coast guard, the navy and humanitarian organisations were involved in the rescues, most of which took place some 30 miles off the coast of Libya.

According to the International Organisation for Migration, around 132,000 migrants have arrived in Italy since the start of the year and 3,054 have died.

Editing by Kevin Liffey

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