German non-governmental organization (NGO) Sea-Eye said on Wednesday it rescued 40 migrants from a dinghy some 55 kilometres off the coast of Libya.
Two women, one of whom is pregnant, a baby and two small children are among the rescued, Sea-Eye spokesman Gorden Isler told dpa.
Isler said the rescuers are asking the appropriate authorities for a safe place to dock. “Geographically, Lampedusa is the nearest safe port. We’ll see how things go in the coming hours,” he added.
Italy’s hard-line Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has had numerous stand-offs with migrant rescue NGOs, denying them disembarkation rights in Lampedusa and other Italian ports.
Isler said that the migrants told rescuers that they set off overnight from Tajoura, a town east of Tripoli.
It is home to a migrant detention centre that was bombed in early July, causing more than 50 deaths.
The migrants are from Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Mali, Congo and Cameroon, the spokesman added.
Meanwhile, Salvini said Wednesday that a solution was “close” in the case of the Gregoretti, an Italian coastguard vessel that is not being allowed to disembark 115 migrants picked up at sea.
Salvini previously said he would not let anybody off the Gregoretti unless other EU countries agreed to take in all the migrants. Germany has said it is willing to welcome some of them.