Seventeen migrants missing after late-night Mediterranean rescue

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Migrant night rescue on the Mediterranean coast
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Migrant night rescue on the Mediterranean coast
Refugees and migrants wait to be rescued from their sinking rubber boat some eight nautical miles off Libya's Mediterranean coastline on October 12, 2016. A growing number of people are attempting the treacherous sea journey from Libya or Egypt, after the closure of the Balkan migrant trail route leading from Greece to western Europe. (ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A man is rescued after the rubber boat he was in began to take on water some eight nautical miles off Libya's Mediterranean coastline on October 12, 2016. A growing number of people are attempting the treacherous sea journey from Libya or Egypt, after the closure of the Balkan migrant trail route leading from Greece to western Europe. (ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
A migrant is rescued after the rubber boat he was in sunk some eight nautical miles off Libya's Mediterranean coastline on October 12, 2016. A growing number of people are attempting the treacherous sea journey from Libya or Egypt, after the closure of the Balkan migrant trail route leading from Greece to western Europe. (ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Migrants and refugees are rescued after the rubber boat they were in began to take on water some eight nautical miles off Libya's Mediterranean coastline on October 12, 2016. A growing number of people are attempting the treacherous sea journey from Libya or Egypt, after the closure of the Balkan migrant trail route leading from Greece to western Europe. (ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Migrants and refugees wait to be rescued after the rubber boat they were in began to take on water some eight nautical miles off Libya's Mediterranean coastline on October 12, 2016. A growing number of people are attempting the treacherous sea journey from Libya or Egypt, after the closure of the Balkan migrant trail route leading from Greece to western Europe. (ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
A migrant is rescued after the rubber boat he was in began to sink some eight nautical miles off Libya's Mediterranean coastline on October 12, 2016. A growing number of people are attempting the treacherous sea journey from Libya or Egypt, after the closure of the Balkan migrant trail route leading from Greece to western Europe. (ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
A migrant is rescued after the rubber boat she was in began to sink some eight nautical miles off Libya's Mediterranean coastline on October 12, 2016. A growing number of people are attempting the treacherous sea journey from Libya or Egypt, after the closure of the Balkan migrant trail route leading from Greece to western Europe. (ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Migrants and refugees are rescued after the rubber boat they were in began to take on water some eight nautical miles off Libya's Mediterranean coastline on October 12, 2016. A growing number of people are attempting the treacherous sea journey from Libya or Egypt, after the closure of the Balkan migrant trail route leading from Greece to western Europe. (ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
A migrant is rescued after the rubber boat he was in sunk some eight nautical miles off Libya's Mediterranean coastline on October 12, 2016. A growing number of people are attempting the treacherous sea journey from Libya or Egypt, after the closure of the Balkan migrant trail route leading from Greece to western Europe. (ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
A migrant in the water waits to be rescued after the rubber boat he was in sunk some eight nautical miles off Libya's Mediterranean coastline on October 12, 2016. A growing number of people are attempting the treacherous sea journey from Libya or Egypt, after the closure of the Balkan migrant trail route leading from Greece to western Europe. (ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
A migrant is rescued after the rubber boat he was in sunk some eight nautical miles off Libya's Mediterranean coastline on October 12, 2016. A growing number of people are attempting the treacherous sea journey from Libya or Egypt, after the closure of the Balkan migrant trail route leading from Greece to western Europe. (ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
A migrant is helped out of the sea during a rescue operation some eight nautical miles off Libya's Mediterranean coastline on October 12, 2016. A growing number of people are attempting the treacherous sea journey from Libya or Egypt, after the closure of the Balkan migrant trail route leading from Greece to western Europe. (ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Refugees and migrant wait to be rescued as their rubber boat sinks some eight nautical miles off Libya's Mediterranean coastline on October 12, 2016. A growing number of people are attempting the treacherous sea journey from Libya or Egypt, after the closure of the Balkan migrant trail route leading from Greece to western Europe. (ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A woman is lifted from the sea onto a rescue boat after the rubber boat carrying migrants and refugees began to sink some eight nautical miles off Libya's Mediterranean coastline on October 12, 2016. A growing number of people are attempting the treacherous sea journey from Libya or Egypt, after the closure of the Balkan migrant trail route leading from Greece to western Europe.(ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Migrants and refugees wait to be rescued from their sinking rubber boat some eight nautical miles off Libya's Mediterranean coastline on October 12, 2016. A growing number of people are attempting the treacherous sea journey from Libya or Egypt, after the closure of the Balkan migrant trail route leading from Greece to western Europe. (ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Migrants and refugees are helped out of the sea during a rescue operation some eight nautical miles off Libya's Mediterranean coastline on October 12, 2016. A growing number of people are attempting the treacherous sea journey from Libya or Egypt, after the closure of the Balkan migrant trail route leading from Greece to western Europe. (ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Refugees and migrant are rescued after the rubber boat they were in sunk some eight nautical miles off Libya's Mediterranean coastline on October 12, 2016. A growing number of people are attempting the treacherous sea journey from Libya or Egypt, after the closure of the Balkan migrant trail route leading from Greece to western Europe. (ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Migrants and refugees wait to be rescued from their sinking rubber boat some eight nautical miles off Libya's Mediterranean coastline on October 12, 2016. A growing number of people are attempting the treacherous sea journey from Libya or Egypt, after the closure of the Balkan migrant trail route leading from Greece to western Europe. (ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A migrant is helped during a rescue operation some eight nautical miles off Libya's Mediterranean coastline on October 12, 2016. A growing number of people are attempting the treacherous sea journey from Libya or Egypt, after the closure of the Balkan migrant trail route leading from Greece to western Europe. (ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Migrants and refugees wait to be rescued from their sinking rubber boat some eight nautical miles off Libya's Mediterranean coastline on October 12, 2016. A growing number of people are attempting the treacherous sea journey from Libya or Egypt, after the closure of the Balkan migrant trail route leading from Greece to western Europe. (ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Migrant and refugees are rescued off a sinking rubber boat some eight nautical miles off Libya's Mediterranean coastline on October 12, 2016. A growing number of people are attempting the treacherous sea journey from Libya or Egypt, after the closure of the Balkan migrant trail route leading from Greece to western Europe. (ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Migrant and refugees swim towards a rescue boat as their rubber boat sinks some eight nautical miles off Libya's Mediterranean coastline on October 12, 2016. A growing number of people are attempting the treacherous sea journey from Libya or Egypt, after the closure of the Balkan migrant trail route leading from Greece to western Europe. (ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A migrant holds onto a rope during a rescue operation some eight nautical miles off Libya's Mediterranean coastline on October 12, 2016. A growing number of people are attempting the treacherous sea journey from Libya or Egypt, after the closure of the Balkan migrant trail route leading from Greece to western Europe. / AFP / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
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ROME, Oct 13 (Reuters) - At least 17 migrants are missing after a night-time rescue of more than 100 others from a partially submerged rubber boat off the coast of Libya, the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) said on Thursday.

Italy's coastguard received a distress call from the vessel on Wednesday evening and alerted the privately funded MOAS ship Phoenix, which used remote-controlled drones to locate the boat, a statement said.

The Phoenix crew pulled 113 to safety, but survivors said it had set out from Libya with 130 on board. Among those missing was a Nigerian toddler who was about to turn 3 years old, his mother told rescuers.

"The sea was rough and the boat was taking on water. At one point some people started to panic. The next thing I knew I was pushed into the water and I lost my son in the chaos," the boy's mother told the Phoenix crew, MOAS said.

A young man said five of his friends were missing, and another man said a 16-year-old girl also had disappeared.

Photographs posted on the MOAS web site show that many migrants were in the water and clinging to the boat when rescuers arrived. A search for the bodies had to be abandoned due to rough seas, the statement said.

RELATED: See the art installation for refugee's who lost their lives at sea

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London's refugee 'lifejacket graveyard'
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London's refugee 'lifejacket graveyard'
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Tourists view lifejackets that have been used by refugees to cross the sea to Europe as they are laid out in Parliament Square on September 19, 2016 in London, England. 2,500 lifejackets, worn by refugees during their crossing from Turkey to the Greek island of Chios, are displayed as the UN Migration Summit takes place in New York. The jackets represent the thousands of refugees who have died trying to reach Europe since 2015. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Rahela Sidiqi, a trustee of Women for Refugee Women and originally from Afghanistan, poses for a photograph among lifejackets that have been used by refugees to cross the sea to Europe as they are laid out in Parliament Square on September 19, 2016 in London, England. 2,500 lifejackets, worn by refugees during their crossing from Turkey to the Greek island of Chios, are displayed as the UN Migration Summit takes place in New York. The jackets represent the thousands of refugees who have died trying to reach Europe since 2015. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: A sign is left with lifejackets that have been used by refugees to cross the sea to Europe are laid out in Parliament Square on September 19, 2016 in London, England. 2,500 lifejackets, worn by refugees during their crossing from Turkey to the Greek island of Chios, are displayed as the UN Migration Summit takes place in New York. The jackets represent the thousands of refugees who have died trying to reach Europe since 2015. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
2,500 lifejackets, worn by refugees during crossings from Turkey to the Greek island of Chios, are displayed on Parliament Square, opposite the Houses of Parliament, in central London, on September 19, 2016, during a photcall to highlight the number of refugees that have died trying to reach Europe since 2015. A summit to address the biggest refugee crisis since World War II opens at the United Nations on Monday, overshadowed by the ongoing war in Syria and faltering US-Russian efforts to halt the fighting. World leaders will adopt a political declaration at the first-ever summit on refugees and migrants that human rights groups have already dismissed as falling short of the needed international response. / AFP / Daniel Leal-Olivas (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
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Many of those rescued suffered burns caused by leaking fuel, and one woman was in shock with first-degree burns on a third of her body, MOAS said. A medical evacuation for her had been blocked by bad weather.

Separately on Wednesday, two rescue vessels operated by MOAS and Save the Children rescued a total of 470 migrants, an Italian coastguard spokesman said.

The central Mediterranean route between North Africa and Italy is the deadliest border in the world for migrants. More than 3,100 have gone missing or died this year while trying to use this route to reach Europe by boat, the International Organization for Migration estimates.

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