Sea-Watch said Thursday that its aircraft immediately tried to contact an Italian naval ship about 30 miles (48 kilometers) away to come to rescue, receiving a response only after Italy sent a Mayday Relay message that the Libyan coast guard was on its way. Sea-Watch said both the people in the water and those on board the sinking raft were picked up by the Libyans.
It was the third Libyan rescue witnessed by the Sea-Watch aircraft on Thursday, each carrying about 80 people.
Humanitarian groups object to returning migrants to lawless Libya, citing reports of torture, rapes, beatings and other inhuman treatment.
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