Twin five-day-old infants rescued from the Mediterranean

The children were taken to another ship for a medical evacuation

Twin five-day-old infants rescued from the Mediterranean

One of the five-day-old infants receives treatment | Image: MSF

A set of five-day-old twins have been rescued from the Mediterranean Sea by a search and rescue vessel.

The children were transferred by Médecins Sans Frontiéres (MSF) to another ship on Monday for a medical evacuation.

Antonia Zemp, MSF's team leader on-board the rescue ship Dignity 1, said: "We have a remarkable story of rescuing twins who were premature babies delivered at eight months and were five days old.

"The mother was traveling alone. One of the boys was not well. He was vomiting, had hypothermia and non-reactive.

"After a first triage, our medical team decided to request an evacuation due to the fact that his health was so fragile that he would not have survived the long journey to Italy in our boat.

"We transferred both mother and twins to another vessel that could evacuate them to shore."

Yesterday, MSF contributed to the rescue of around 3,000 people drifting in about 20 rubber dinghies and several wooden boats - one of which carried between 600 to 700 people.

Medical teams treated people who were experiencing diarrhoea, dehydration, fever, hypothermia and skin diseases.

The ship is heading to Vibo Valentia in Italy, to disembark the 435 people on-board.

Of the people rescued by Dignity 1, 13 were children under the age of five years, and 110  were minors - 92 of which were unaccompanied.

According to the Coast Guard, nearly 6,500 people risked their lives to cross the rough Mediterranean Sea yesterday - and were assisted in 40 rescue operations.

Some 617 of those saved yesterday were rescued during three separate operations by the LÉ James Joyce.