The Spanish charity Open Arms said it rescued 117 migrants on Saturday including 25 women and a three-year-old child, mainly from Eritrea, Sudan and Libya.

Open Arms stated that it had rescued the migrants crowded onto a precarious wooden boat from Libya in the latest such perilous crossing over the Mediterranean sea.

The rescue operation took place in international waters 30km off the coast of Libya after the boat left the port of Sabratha after midnight, according to the statement and a spokesperson for the charity.

All the passengers were received medical assessment on board the Open Arms vessel, the charity said, without giving more details on where they would be taken.