EU funding Mediterranean operation
The woman was in labour when she was rescued together with more than 6,000 people by the Italian Navy and Coast Guard Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters

A baby girl was born on a rescue boat in the Mediterranean sea after her mother was rescued while she was trying to reach Europe.

The Italian Navy told AP the woman was in labour when she was rescued on 3 May and she gave birth on a patrol ship. Both mother and daughter are safe.

The woman was part of some 6,771 migrants who were rescued from overcrowded rubber dinghies in the Mediterranean between 2 and 3 May in what it has been deemed "2015's biggest rescue operation so far".

At least 10 people died at sea over the weekend. Seven bodies were found on two rubber dinghies while three were plucked from the sea. The Coast Guard told Reuters the migrants had jumped in the sea after they saw a merchant boat approaching.

The rescue operation occurred two weeks after some 900 migrants drowned off Libyan coasts shedding light, once again, on the problem of illegal migration and people smuggling in the Mediterranean. It is estimated that around 1,800 people have drowned in the Mediterranean so far in 2015.

Following the migrant tragedy in April, the EU vowed to step up efforts and resume operations to prevent further drownings and capture people smugglers. European leaders also agreed to triple the funding for EU sea patrol mission Triton.