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’