Italy Rescues Almost 1,000 Migrants in Three Days


Five Tunisians died after their boat capsized off the coast of Italy, tossed about in dangerous seas. The tragedy occurred only two days after Italian authorities rescued over 900 migrants.

“A migrant boat carrying dozens capsized on Saturday off the coast of Monastir. … Naval forces rescued 49 Tunisian migrants and recovered five bodies of Tunisian migrants,” explained a naval official.

The navy rescued 49 people from the same boat, the majority of whom are only in their mid-20s.

On Wednesday, the Italian coast guard and navy rescued over 900 migrants on three boats. At least one person died on the boat, but the authorities did not release more information.

“One migrant was found dead on the boat,” said Navy ship commander Francesco Coronas. “We couldn’t do much about it. We tried to resuscitate him but it didn’t work out.”

The Sydney Morning Herald reports:

Two Italian coast guard patrol boats and a merchant ship whose country of origin was not given saved 328 migrants from a boat in Maltese waters on Wednesday. A French navy vessel participating in the EU’s border control mission Triton picked up 297 people, including 51 women and children.

Finally, an Italian navy ship rescued 286 and picked up one body. All of the migrants have been or will be brought to Italian ports, the coast guard said.

The majority of the migrants fleeing wars in Syria and Libya land in Italy since it is easiest to access on the Mediterranean Sea. These 900 migrants join over 36,500 who landed in Italy in this year alone. Experts believe the number will exceed over 200,000, which is 30,000 more than 2014.