Malta rescues nearly 400 migrants from the Med

Malta’s armed forces rescued nearly 400 migrants in four separate sea operations on Wednesday June 5th. All were brought ashore to Malta.

A government official said it was one of the largest number of arrivals to Malta in several months. Other migrant boats were being monitored in the central Mediterranean, the army said. Migrant rescue group Sea Watch International said on Twitter that a rubber dinghy with at least 80 people on board was deflating about 50nm north of Garabulli in Libya. “Many people in the water, high probability of missing and drowned,” it said, adding that the Libyan Coast Guard was on the scene.

Malta has repeatedly said that its patrol boats would only rescue migrants when they were seen to be in distress.

Malta and Italy have closed their ports to charity ships that pick up migrants off the coast of Libya. They have called on the EU to share out between member states those migrants who arrive in Malta and Italy.