394 migrants rescued from wooden boat off Tunisia

An overcrowded wooden boat carrying hundreds of migrants was spotted in the Mediterranean overnight on Sunday (August 1).

At least 394 migrants were rescued by German and French NGO ships Sea-Watch 3 and Ocean Viking in Tunisian waters

in an operation that lasted six hours, according to a Reuters witness.

Many on board were seen jumping off the boat and trying to swim,

As humanitarian workers scrambled to hand out life jackets.

It was not clear if there were any deaths or injuries among the migrants, who were mainly men from Morocco, Bangladesh, Egypt and Syria.

They were eventually rescued in Tunisian waters 42 miles from the North African coast.

The witness said their engine had stopped working and the boat started taking in water.

Migrant boat departures from Libya and Tunisia to Italy and other parts of Europe have increased in recent months as weather conditions have improved.

The International Organization for Migration says more than 1,100 people have died this year in the Mediterranean, fleeing conflict and poverty in Africa and the Middle East.

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