In the last day, more than 4,200 immigrants attempting to find sanctuary in Europe have been rescued from Mediterranean ships. An estimated 4,243 people have been recovered from rubber dinghies by nations including Italy, Ireland, Germany, Belgium and Britain.
Hundreds rescued off the coast of Italy
More than 4,200 migrants rescued in Mediterranean as crisis grows
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.
Read More Italy’s second ‘ghost ship’
At least 12 people were killed, four of them children, and an undetermined number of disappeared was the tragic result today after the shipwreck of a small boat on the west coast of Greece, in the Ionian Sea.
Another 15 immigrants managed to reach safety and notify the authorities the place of the accident, between the island of Lefkada and the mainland village of Paleros, according to a police spokesman.
The mobilization of the coast guard was capable of rescuing 12 bodies near the place where the boat was overturned, continuing the work of searching for other victims in a wide surrounding area.
So far, the number of passengers the eight-feet-long vessel transported, their nationalities, and the port is not known.
Coast guard divers recovered the bodies of four children and eight adults after survivors alerted authorities, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. The migrants were presumed to have been headed to nearby Italy from the western Greek mainland.
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