A heavily pregnant migrant woman was rescued from a sinking dinghy and taken aboard an Italian coast guard vessel, where she promptly gave birth.
According to a press statement on the Italian coast guard website (in Italian), the migrant woman was assisted in childbirth by medical personnel on the CISOM unit vessel belonging to the coastguard.
The rescue mission was launched on September 3 to rescue migrants from Libya from a sinking dinghy off the coast.
— Julián Miglierini (@julianmig) September 4, 2015
The Mirror Online reports that 91 migrants were rescued in the operation. However, according to the press statement by the Italian coast guard, the heavily pregnant migrant woman was rescued along with 104 other Libyan migrants as part of the operation off the coast of the southern Italian island of Lampedusa.
The video below shows the rescue operation where a frogman from the coast guard jumps into the water to lead the migrants to safety on their vessel.
Once the migrant woman was safe on board, she immediately gave birth with the assistance of medical personnel on the boat, and one of her rescuers can be seen holding the baby, wrapped in blue blankets.
Reportedly in total, 104 migrants were rescued from the wrecked inflatable dinghy and one body was recovered. Several people are still believed to be missing following the incident as fellow migrants said there had been 115 people on the boat when they left Libya.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) September 8, 2015
The Italian coastguard are involved in a continuing search and rescue operation in an attempt to find the other missing migrants, who are feared to have drowned.
The image below shows the heavily pregnant migrant woman as she is being rescued, and just prior to her giving birth on the coast guard vessel.
— la Repubblica (@repubblicait) September 4, 2015
On arrival in Lampedusa, both the migrant woman and her baby were transferred to hospital and both are reportedly doing well.
In other news relating to the current refugee and migrant crisis in Europe, the Inquititr reports that Pope Francis has spoken up on the issue and has told Catholics to get involved. He says that every parish and religious institution should take in at least one refugee family.
[Image: A member of the Italian coast guard holds the baby – courtesy Guardia Costiera]