British navy ship in migrant rescue

A British navy ship on Thursday came to the rescue of around 100 migrants adrift on a dinghy in the Mediterranean, Italy's coastguard said.

British navy ship in migrant rescue
Personnel from the British Royal Navy ship HMS Bulwark help people into a Royal Navy Landing Craft during a rescue operation off the coast of Italy. Photo: AFP/Crown Copyright 2015/Royal Navy/Louise G

The "Bulwark" was first on the scene after the International Organisation for Migration received a distress call from a migrant boat that got into trouble off the coast of Libya.

The migrants were subsequently transferred to an Italian vessel. Their dinghy sank.

The Italian coastguard on Thursday also coordinated the rescue of another rickety boat carrying 120 migrants.

More than 5,000 migrants have died trying to reach Europe's shores in rickety boats over the past 18 months.