ROME -- Italy's coast guard said Wednesday that some 50 bodies had been found in the hull of a migrant boat that was rescued off Libya's northern coast.
Coast guard Lt. Claudio Bernetti said the Swedish ship Poseiden, which is taking part in the EU's Triton Mediterranean operation, rescued 439 surviving migrants from the ship Wednesday.
The rescue was one of 10 requests for assistance that arrived at the coast guard's operations center as Libya-based smugglers took advantage of calm seas to send boats overloaded with migrants to Europe.
Syrians desperate to flee the civil war and North Africans escaping poverty have created what is now the largest migration in Europe since the end of World War II.
This year, 180,000 migrants have poured into Greece alone. Fences, tear gas, even bullets can't keep them out.