43 rescued off Libya coast while making journey to Europe

The migrants were taken aboard the Mission Lifeline captained by Paul Chamberlain, a charity worker from Norfolk.

FILE: Men evacuate a rubber boat with the help of the crew of the Topaz Responder ship run by Maltese NGO Moas and the Italian Red Cross during a rescue operation of migrants and refugees on 3 November 2016 off the Libyan coast in the Mediterranean Sea. Picture: AFP.

PRETORIA – Forty-three people have been rescued from a boat attempting a journey from Africa to Europe.

The 7m wooden boat was spotted 48km off the coast of Libya.

The migrants were taken aboard the Mission Lifeline captained by Paul Chamberlain, a charity worker from Norfolk.

They were lucky not be taken by the Libyan coastguard which would have transported them to one of the detention centres housing more than 18,000 people.

African and European leaders were outraged this week at reports that some of these detainees are being sold into slavery.

The Libyan coastguard has rescued more than 13,000 people this year and recovered 433 bodies.

The number of migrants arriving from Africa in Europe, mostly Italy, this year exceeds 160,000.

That's less than half the number who made the hazardous crossing last year.