BRUSSELS - Almost 800 people on three NGO rescue vessels remain stranded at sea in the Mediterranean ahead of the Christmas holidays.

Humanitarian rescue ship Geo Barents, run by Doctors Without Borders, has 458 people onboard. The German-based charity Sea-Eye-4 has 216, while SOS Mediterranee's the Ocean Viking is carrying 114.

The charity ships are hoping to disembark those they rescued, including infants and newborns, but have yet to be assigned a port of safety from any EU state. Most disembarkations take place in Italy.