At the least eight migrants have drowned and 84 have been rescued after a rubber dinghy sank off the coast of Libya, the Italian coastguard stated.

Dozens of others may nonetheless be lacking, the Spanish rescue charity Proactiva Open Arms stated.

It’s believed to be the primary sinking of a migrant boat within the Mediterranean in 2018.

The ocean crossing to Europe is the deadliest route on the planet for migrants, the UN says.

Practically 34,000 migrants have drowned or gone lacking within the waters since 2000, in line with figures from the Worldwide Group for Migration.

The German charity Sea-Watch stated no less than 25 individuals had died however numbers have been nonetheless unclear. One among its boats was on the best way to the scene north of Tripoli, it added.

Proactiva Open Arms stated a lot of these rescued had spent hours within the water.

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The coastguard stated the partly submerged dinghy was noticed by a surveillance plane engaged within the EU’s Operation Sophia, which goals to intercept boats engaged in individuals smuggling.

“The search continues for survivors,” it added.

In 2017 practically three,000 migrants have been believed to have drowned whereas attempting to cross the Mediterranean.

On Friday, the EU’s border administration company, Frontex, stated the numbers of migrants travelling to Europe illegally final yr dropped 60% to 204,300.

The numbers travelling to Italy was 119,000 – 34% fewer than 2016, Frontex stated.

The drop was as a consequence of improved border controls, the company added.

The EU noticed report ranges of asylum seekers arriving in 2016 however the numbers have fallen since a take care of Turkey stemmed the inflow of these crossing into Greece.