Hundreds more migrants rescued from the Mediterranean

Every weekend the same thing happens. Dozens of small inflatable rafts set out from Libya.

The rafts are packed to overflowing with migrants trying to escape to Europe.

Usually the rafts are underpowered. Frequently the engines fail. The migrants drift, waiting to be rescued.

Some are lucky.

The Italian coast guard rescued some 800 people on June 17. Those people will be taken to camps on Sicily where they have a chance at a better life.

Some are not as lucky; 906 migrants were rescued by Libyan vessels on June 16. They will once again have to raise the relatively huge sums of money needed to hire a ride into the middle of the ocean.

Earlier this week humanitarian rescue ships collected another 1,000 migrants from the ocean.

Of course, some are not lucky at all.

The U.N. Migration Agency (IOM) said that 1,530 migrants and refugees died crossing the Mediterranean so far in 2017.

More than 60,000 migrants have tried to cross from Libya to Europe so far this year, according to Italy’s Ministry of the Interior. That is up 18 percent over this time last year.

Eighty percent arrived in italy.