Nigerian mother with 4-day-old baby rescued from Mediterranean Sea

A Nigerian woman, Mariam Ohene and her four-day-old baby, were among over 480 migrants rescued by humanitarian ships belonging to the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms in the central Mediterranean Sea on Saturday.

With Ohene at the time of the rescue were also her two-year-old son and her Ghanaian husband, Richard.

Ohene had been living in Libya with her husband (Richard) for over two years before they decided to leave for Europe after having their four-day-old baby. The family of four was traveling on one of two rubber boats carrying over 200 migrants from North and Central Africa, Sri Lanka, and Yemen and were spotted by the humanitarian ships around 22 nautical miles north of the Libyan town of Sabratha.

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“We want to go to France or Germany, there is a future for our family there,” Richard Ohene said.

The 480 migrants were heading for Italy and were due to reach there on Monday before they were rescued in the open sea. The migrants were transferred into Golfo Azzurro, a former fishing trawler and were due to reach the Sicilian port town of Augusta on Sunday afternoon.

“A week ago, I collected a dead body from the Mediterranean for the first time, and (Saturday) I carried a new life,” said Daniel Calvelo, a member of the rescue team that helped transfer Ohene’s baby from the rubber raft into the rescue boat.

The International Migration Organisation says that nearly 600 migrants have died so far in 2017 while trying to reach Italy from North Africa.

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About 181,000 migrants reached Italy in 2016, while 4, 600 migrants are estimated to have died while in transit through the same means in 2016.