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Irish Navy rescue 50 migrants from rubber raft in Mediterranean

The Irish Navy has rescued 50 people from a rubber raft off the coast of Libya. Picture by Irish Naval Service/PA Wire
John Monaghan

THE Irish Navy has rescued another 50 people from a rubber raft off the coast of Libya.

The crew of the LE Samuel Beckett intervened to save those aboard, bringing to 2,310 the number helped by the ship since it was dispatched to the area on September 23.

The rescue mission came as the UN's migration agency said that at least 365 migrants and refugees have drowned in three days while attempting to cross the Mediterranean.

Leonard Doyle, of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), said there had been six incidents in crossings between Libya and Italy.

He said there is "a calamity in plain sight".

"We are seeing really tragic scenes of rubber rafts going under the seas in the Mediterranean in the middle of winter."

Mr Doyle said 4,636 people have died on the Mediterranean this year, about 1,000 more than through this point in November last year.

With migrants taking to flimsy rafts to attempt the crossing, he said IOM had also recorded a six-fold increase in deaths this month compared to November last year.

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