Italian vessels have recovered five bodies and rescued 674 people packed on a fishing boat adrift in the Mediterranean off the Libyan coast, the Italian Coast Guard has said, while European charities reported saving more than 500 refugees in other operations.
Some of the survivors had to be plucked from the sea in the Italian operation on Saturday July 23, 118 miles /190km off the coast of Calabria by a Navy mercantile ship, three Coast Guard patrol boats and a financial police boat. All of those rescued were brought to ports in Calabria and Sicily.
The causes of death for the five casualties were not immediately known.
The Coast Guard said on Sunday it was just one in a series of rescues in recent days in the Italian search and rescue area of the central Mediterranean, as desperate people fleeing poverty or oppression seek a better life in Europe.
In separate operations, the German charity Sea-Watch said it rescued 444 refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean on overcrowded, rickety smugglers’ boats. The Sea-Watch 3 vessel carried out the five operations over 24 hours, and said the rescued included a pregnant woman and a man who had suffered severe burns.
Millions of people on their way to Europe to get a better life.
The charity is asking for permission to bring the rescued people to a safe port, as the rescue ship is unable to accommodate so many people.
(Source: Aljazeera, July 24-2022)