World

More EU nations aide Italy with rescue of migrants from smugglers' boats off Libyan coast

  • A migrant carries a baby ah he disembarks from the Migrant Offshore Aid Station vessel ' Phoenix ' in the harbor of Augusta, Sicily, Southern Italy, Saturday, May 9, 2015. European Union plans to introduce a quota system obliging countries to share the burden of settling refugees unraveled Friday as member nations began rejecting the scheme. (AP Photo/Francesco Malavolta)

    A migrant carries a baby ah he disembarks from the Migrant Offshore Aid Station vessel ' Phoenix ' in the harbor of Augusta, Sicily, Southern Italy, Saturday, May 9, 2015. European Union plans to introduce a quota system obliging countries to share the burden of settling refugees unraveled Friday as member nations began rejecting the scheme. (AP Photo/Francesco Malavolta)  (The Associated Press)

  • Migrants line up to enter a Red Cross tent after disembarking from the Migrant Offshore Aid Station vessel ' Phoenix ' in the harbor of Augusta, Sicily, Southern Italy, Saturday, May 9, 2015. European Union plans to introduce a quota system obliging countries to share the burden of settling refugees unraveled Friday as member nations began rejecting the scheme. (AP Photo/Francesco Malavolta)

    Migrants line up to enter a Red Cross tent after disembarking from the Migrant Offshore Aid Station vessel ' Phoenix ' in the harbor of Augusta, Sicily, Southern Italy, Saturday, May 9, 2015. European Union plans to introduce a quota system obliging countries to share the burden of settling refugees unraveled Friday as member nations began rejecting the scheme. (AP Photo/Francesco Malavolta)  (The Associated Press)

  • A woman carries a child after disembarking from the Migrant Offshore Aid Station vessel ' Phoenix ' in the harbor of Augusta, Sicily, Southern Italy, Saturday, May 9, 2015. European Union plans to introduce a quota system obliging countries to share the burden of settling refugees unraveled Friday as member nations began rejecting the scheme. (AP Photo/Francesco Malavolta)

    A woman carries a child after disembarking from the Migrant Offshore Aid Station vessel ' Phoenix ' in the harbor of Augusta, Sicily, Southern Italy, Saturday, May 9, 2015. European Union plans to introduce a quota system obliging countries to share the burden of settling refugees unraveled Friday as member nations began rejecting the scheme. (AP Photo/Francesco Malavolta)  (The Associated Press)

Ireland and France are the latest European Union nations answering Italy's pleas for help with the rescue of migrants' who are risking their lives on smugglers' boats in the Mediterranean.

Italian Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti said Saturday that an Irish patrol boat was arriving in the Mediterranean.

Two German ships and a British vessel are already pitching in, after Italy appealed for help with the migrants, who arrive daily by the hundreds or by the thousands on overcrowded, unseaworthy fishing boats and dinghies setting sail from Libya, where the smugglers are based. Pinotti said France has also expressed willingness to help.

Hundreds of migrants saved by a vessel operated by a private organization and by one of the German ships reached port Saturday in Sicily and on the Italian mainland.