Italian Navy rescues 128 migrants off Sicily

Among them numerous women - two are pregnant - and children

27 March, 11:48

    Italian Navy rescue 128 migrants at sea Italian Navy rescue 128 migrants at sea

    (ANSAmed) - CATANIA, MARCH 27 - A Navy helicopter EH-101, which is deployed as part of the air and naval Mare Nostrum operation on the San Giorgio Navy ship, on Wednesday morning saw 128 migrants in a rickety boat south-east of Capo Passero, including eight women, two of them pregnant, and 13 children.

    The migrants were transferred to the San Giorgio ship which is now travelling to the port of Augusta near Siracusa, Sicily, where it is scheduled to arrive at 1 pm Thursday.

    The San Giorgio ship rescued the migrants who had asked for help after the boat on which they were travelling got into difficulty.

    Most of those on board are reportedly from Egypt, Eritrea, Sudan and Syria. Police started operations to identify the migrants and medical staff on board the Navy ship visited them.

    The air and naval operation Mare Nostrum (Latin for ''our sea'', as the Mediterranean was called by ancient Romans) was established as a military and humanitarian operation to boost surveillance and rescue forces at sea.

    The task force was triggered by the deaths of around 400 people in two separate migrant-boat disasters last October near the Sicilian island of Lampedusa, which is often the migrants' first port of call.

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