Rome: A maritime rescue group operating in the Mediterranean reported on Friday that they had pulled about 160 people out of the water overnight, leaving them with about 210 people on board as they looked for a port to dock at.
The crew of the Ocean Viking said the rescues came in two stages, first when they found a group of about 40 people in an overfilled boat off the coast of Libya that was about to capsize, reports dpa news agency.
A separate operation saw the crew take on another 120 people, said SOS Mediterranee, which operates the rescue ship.
More rescues could be reported in the coming days.
Doctors Without Borders has sent its Geo Barents ship back into the Mediterranean region that sees the bulk of migrant rescue operations due to the fact that so many people try to flee to Europe from Africa in vessels that are not safe.
The ship is on the way way to the trouble area.
It had already picked up people in another part of the Mediterranean, reporting that it had saved 110 people on Sunday and deposited them in Tarent, in southern Italy.
The Spanish rescue organization Open Arms is also off the Italian coast awaiting a place to bring nearly 100 people it has saved.
It has been waiting for 10 days.
Many of those who make the dangerous passage end up in Italy, where large parts of the populace are growing resistant to continued flows of incomers.
According to the UN, almost 920 people have been recorded dead or missing after attempting Mediterranean passages this year.