Belgian Navy ship rescues 645 migrants in Mediterranean Sea

A Belgian Naval ship has taken aboard 645 migrants who were travelling in small rubber boats in the Mediterranean Sea, De Morgen reported yesterday.

Report says the ship, Godetia, is participating in the Operation Triton, headed by the EU border security agency, FRONTEX. The ship, which has been on patrol in the Mediterranean since May, was summoned on Tuesday to confront three overloaded vessels.

Aboard the small boats were a combined total of 315 people, including 39 minors.

In addition the Godetia took charge of 330 people who had been apprehended by the Italian Navy.

According to military sources, the migrants will be handed over to the Italian authorities in Sicily on Wednesday.

Reports say all the people are believed to be Africans.

Since its arrival in the Mediterranean, the Godetia, has picked up a total of 1,617 people.

According to the latest UN figures, the first half of 2015 has seen around 137,000 migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean, an increase of 38 percent from the same period in 2014.

The UN figures also indicated that of those, 1,867 have died in their efforts to get to Europe.

No fewer than one third of those hoping to make it to European shores, usually Greece or Italy, are fleeing the situation in Syria.

Other migrants typically come from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan.

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