Rescuers found one migrant dead and saved 354 on a fishing boat in rough seas near the southwestern shore of Italy, the coast guard said on Monday.
The body was found on Sunday night, adding to the weekend’s Mediterranean death toll after 49 people were found dead, probably from suffocation, on an overcrowded fishing boat.
Two Italian coast guard ships, a Croatian coast guard vessel deployed under the European Union’s Triton maritime mission and a merchant ship carried out the rescue in choppy waters near the coast of Calabria, the Italian coast guard said in a statement.
Survivors of the weekend’s tragedy were brought ashore to the Sicilian port of Catania on Monday. Italian prosecutor Michelangelo Patane said authorities would interview the migrants to try to establish what had caused the deaths.
More than 2,300 migrants and refugees have died this year trying to reach Europe by boat, compared with 3,279 deaths during the whole of last year, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).