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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Dozens rescued by Italy from migrant shipwrecks. Survivors say 31 lacking, others stranded on rocks

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ROME — Italy’s Coast Guard rescued 57 migrants from two boats that capsized through the night time in tough seas south of a tiny Italian island and recovered two our bodies, authorities mentioned.

In an announcement, the coast guard quotes survivors as saying some 30 migrants have been lacking and it recovered the physique of a boy and a girl from one of many capsized vessels.

Some 20 others have been stranded Sunday on rocks after a 3rd shipwreck.

In accordance with those that have been rescued from the shipwrecked vessels late Saturday, some 23 nautical miles (42.5 kilometers) southwest of Lampedusa, 28 folks have been lacking from one and three from the opposite.

In the meantime, 20 migrants have been clinging desperately to jagged rocks of a tall reef off Lampedusa since early Saturday after a 3rd boat crashed into the craggy outcropping west of the island’s lighthouse. Sturdy winds and highly effective waves made any Coast Guard rescue too harmful.

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The coast guard workplace in Palermo requested the assistance of a Sicily-based Alpine and Cave Rescue group, which flew two specialists aboard an Italian air pressure helicopter. The specialists have been planning to rescue the stranded migrants utilizing the helicopter, the mountaineering group mentioned.

Earlier, Italian helicopters dropped food and water all the way down to the migrants, Italian state TV reported.

So many have made the crossing in smugglers’ unseaworthy boats launched from Libya and Tunisia in latest days that 2,450 migrants have been at the moment housed at Lampedusa’s momentary residence, which has a capability of about 400, mentioned Ignazio Schintu, an official of the Italian Purple Cross which runs the middle. As soon as the winds slacken and the seas flip calm, Italy will resume ferrying tons of of them to Sicily to ease the overcrowding, he advised state TV.

The 2 boats that capsized in open seas have been believed to have set out from Sfax — a Tunisian port — on Thursday, when sea situations have been good, based on authorities.

However since sea situations have been forecast to show dangerous on Saturday, “it is much more prison for smugglers to allow them to depart,” mentioned Flavio Di Giacomo, a spokesperson from the U.N. migration company IOM.

Earlier than Saturday, a complete of 1,814 migrants have been recognized to have perished whereas trying the Mediterranean crossing to Italy in boats launched from Tunisia or Libya, he mentioned.

Libyan departures was once riskier, he mentioned, however as a result of currently Tunisia-based smugglers have been utilizing significantly flimsy vessels, that route is changing into more and more deadlier.

Migrants from sub-Saharan Africa are setting out from Tunisia in “fragile iron vessels that after 24 hours usually break in two, and the migrants fall into the ocean,” Di Giacomo mentioned, in an audio message from Sicily.


Comply with AP’s protection of migration points at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

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