Rome: A charity rescue ship has picked up 114 migrants from the Mediterrrean including eight women and 22 children, of whom 16 were unaccompanied
The rescue took place overnight amid calm seas and were carried out by the Aquarius, which is operated by the international charities Sos Mediterranee and Doctors without Borders.
The migrants were plucked from a white, inflatable dinghy early on Monday and were mainly from Senegal and from Guinea, but also from Uganda, Mali and Ivory Coast.
The migrants told rescuers they had been at sea for around four hours after setting sail from the Libyan coast at around midnight on Sunday.
Sos Mediterraneee saved over 10,000 migrants in the Mediterranean last year in more than 50 rescue operations.
Over 358, 400 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2016 through 21 December, arriving mostly in Greece and Italy, the International Organisation for Migration said on 23 December.
Last year was the deadliest on record in the Mediterranean with 5,000 perishing during their attempt to reach Europe from North Africa, according to the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR.