Italy’s second ‘ghost ship’

A cargo ship abandoned by its crew with 359 Syrian refugees on board was towed ashore in Italy on Saturday in the second such rescue this week, prompting calls for stronger European Union action in the face of new tactics by human traffickers.

The Ezadeen, a Sierra-Leone-flagged vessel that had set sail from Turkey, docked in the southern Italian port of Corigliano Calabro. The passengers, including 62 minors, were in good condition and were being transferred to immigration centres and foster homes across Italy, coastguard and police officials said.

The decrepit vessel, licensed only to carry livestock, was strewn with steel containers, broken chairs, piles of garbage bags, empty gasoline tanks and scattered clothes and belongings.

On Wednesday, about 800 mostly Syrian migrants were rescued from another ‘ghost ship’, the Moldovan-flagged Blue Sky M. It too was abandoned at sea, highlighting a new ploy by traffickers who make money by promising refugees a transfer to Europe.
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Eight missing as ship sinks

An overturned cargo ship sank Sunday off the coast of Scotland as the search continued for the missing eight-member crew.

Seven Poles and one Filipino were on board the Cypriot-registered Cemfjord, a cargo ship carrying cement, which capsized around 15 miles (24 kilometres) from Wick on the northeast tip of Scotland.

Two helicopters, four lifeboats and five coastguard rescue teams are involved in the search for survivors.

Read More Eight missing as ship sinks off Scotland