Mediterranean boa tragedy
EU vessels rescue more than 3,400 migrants off Libya coast at Mediterranean Reuters file photo

EU forces picked up 3,427 migrants off the Libyan coast in the Mediterranean on Saturday, 2 May.

The Italian coast guard said the rescue measures were part of the latest efforts by European nations to prevent migrant deaths during their perilous journeys in search of a better life.

Italy said 16 ships were involved in the operation. The migrants were picked up by several teams off many Italian ports such as the islands of Sicily and Lampedusa.

The French naval patrol boat Commandant Birot, which is operating under the EU's Triton mission, was also involved in the rescue measures.

The French vessel picked up more than 200 migrants from three different boats in the region. Arrests have also been made and the suspected human traffickers have been turned in to Italian authorities. Three people are reported to have drowned during the operations.

According to the authorities cited by AFP, the Italian frigate Bersagliere plucked 778 migrants while the patrol ship Vega rescued more than 675 people.

On 12 April, European authorities rescued 3,791 migrants.

The EU's intensified efforts come after an illegal immigrant boat carrying an estimated 800 people capsized in the Mediterranean.