2,500 persons seeking asylum, most from North Africa, were rescued in the Mediterranean Sea since Thursday, including 157 children according to the Italian government.
The unusually large amount of rescues in the last 24-hours brings the total of asylum seekers to over 62,000 for the first five months of 2014, this total is more than the 40,000 total refugees crossing the Mediterranean Sea in all of 2013.
An advantage to the overcrowded boats is the good weather that has encouraged boats to set sail from North Africa.
Italy has asked other European nations to join the effort as immigration centers overflow with tens of thousands of asylum requests or temporary hosting. Currently, only Slovenia has stepped up to assist with a ship.
Rescue operations continue even as 17 vessels have been aided by Italian Navy and Coast Guard ships.
Italy began active search and rescues of refugee vessels after the incident eight months ago after 366 migrants drowned after their boat capsized about a mile from Sicily’s shores.