Italian Coast Guard Recovers 14 More Bodies After Migrant Boat Wreck

CROTONE, ITALY - 2024/03/04: Police seen walking in front of the rescue vessel. The rescue
Valeria Ferraro/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

ROME (AP) – The Italian coast guard has recovered 14 more bodies from last week’s shipwreck in the Ionian Sea off the southern Italian coastline, bringing to 34 the number of known victims from the sinking. Dozens are still missing and presumed dead.

The bodies, recovered on Friday, were transferred to a port in Calabria. Three coast guard ships were active in the air-and-sea search, some 190 kilometers (120 miles) from shore.

Survivors reported that the motorboat had caught fire, causing it to capsize off the Italian coast overnight last Sunday, about eight days after departing from Turkey with about 75 people from Iran, Syria and Iraq on board, according to the U.N. refugee agency and other U.N. organizations. Eleven survivors were being treated on shore.

The latest deaths bring to more than 800 people who have died or went missing and are presumed dead crossing the central Mediterranean so far this year, an average of five dead a day, the U.N. agencies said.

Humanitarian groups have decried the deaths as evidence of the failure of European migration policy.

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