Immigration: Italians rescue 800+ people in Strait of Sicily

Italian navy, coast guard save lives in four different operation

25 October, 10:58

    Migrants rescued in Lampedusa Migrants rescued in Lampedusa

    (ANSAmed) - ROME - More than 800 refugees have been rescued in four different operations in the strait between Sicily and Tunisia earlier today, authorities told ANSAmed on Friday.

    Two Italian Navy vessels patrolling the area as part of the new Mare Nostrum surveillance operation picked up 400 people, and two Coast Guard cutters sailed from the Italian island of Lampedusa to rescue 250 people on board a vessel in distress 25 miles off the coast.

    Another coast guard patrol rescued 95 Eritrean refugees 103 miles south-east of Lampedusa. Meanwhile, Italian port authorities rerouted a Panamanian-registered merchant navy ship, directing it to rescue another 80 people from another vessel in distress 110 miles south of the island.

    Some of the migrants were taken to Lampedusa, and others will be taken to other destinations, authorities said.

    The administration of Italian Premier Enrico Letta set up Mare Nostrum to prevent further deaths at sea following two migrant ship disasters earlier this month in which at least 400 people died. (ANSAmed).

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