Both incidents happened on Saturday, but survivors had only just reached the port of Pozzallo in Italy, Millman said. Other survivors were shipped back to Libya.
The probable deaths marked the largest incident in over a month on the central Mediterranean migrant route between Libya and Italy, usually the most lethal route, with only one body washed ashore in Libya since Feb. 2.
Fatalities so far this year are down by at least 100 since the same stage of 2017, Millman said. But another route, further west, has become much more hazardous.
“We continue almost every day to learn of deaths in Moroccan, Algerian and Spanish waters,” Millman said.
“We understand the total for the first 63 days of the year is 105 deaths on that route, which is well ahead of what things were like a year ago, when we just had 44.”