A boat carrying 500 people goes missing.
Two groups in Rome said on Friday that a boat with about 500 migrants, including a newborn baby and pregnant women, has gone missing in the middle of the Mediterranean.
Alarm Phone, which helps people on boats who are in trouble, said it had lost touch with the boat on Wednesday morning.
At the time, the boat was drifting without an engine about 320 km (200 miles) north of the Libyan port of Benghazi and more than 400 km from Malta or Italy’s southern island of Sicily.
Thursday, the Italian NGO Emergency said that its Life Support ship and another charity ship, the Ocean Viking, had spent 24 hours looking for the lost boat but had found no sign of a shipwreck.
On Friday, a spokesman for Emergency said that the search was still going on and that the migrants could have been picked up by another boat or fixed their engine so they could keep going to Sicily.
Thursday, the Italian Coast Guard said that they had saved 423 and 671 migrants in different operations. Alarm Phone said that these operations had nothing to do with the missing boat.