Thousands of migrants rescued in 3 days in Mediterranean

The Associated Press
In this April 7, 2017, African migrants gather on the stern Golfo Azurro a day after being rescued by members of Proactiva Open Arms NGO, Friday, April 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

About 8,300 migrants have been rescued from unseaworthy smugglers boats over Easter weekend in the Mediterranean.

A U.N. refugee agency spokeswoman, Carlotta Sami, tweeted on Monday that "rescuers worked incessantly" over Friday, Saturday and Sunday, to save them. Eight migrants died, including a pregnant woman.

Smugglers take advantage of calm seas to launch many boats. Those rescued were transferred to ships sailing to southern Italy. Most migrants hope for asylum, but those coming for strictly economic reasons likely won't be granted it.

More than 1,400 of those rescued were saved by European border and coast guard agency Frontex, which said it was involved in 13 search-and-rescue operations over Easter weekend.

Private humanitarian organizations were involved in many of the rescue operations, while Italy's coast guard coordinated the rescues.