As many as 900 people may have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea as they attempted to reach Europe in unseaworthy vessels.
The boats sank south of Italy, off the coast of Libya, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday as hundreds of migrants sought escape.
According to the United Nations Refugee Agency the return of warmer weather has has led to a surge of people attempting to make the perilous crossing from Africa to Europe.
Carlotta Sami, a spokeswoman for the UN agency said almost 100 migrants were missing from a smugglers’ boat which capsized on Wednesday.
Sami said about 550 other migrants are missing from a boat which overturned on Thursday morning after leaving the Libyan port of Sabratha on Wednesday. Survivors said the boat had no engine and was being towed by a second smuggling vessel.
In a third shipwreck on Friday, 135 people were rescued, 45 bodies pulled from the water and an unspecified number of others are missing.