Rescues save more than 1400 migrants off southern Italy

More than 1400 migrants have been rescued from overcrowded vessels, including a sailboat, in four separate operations in the Mediterranean Sea off southern Italy.

There were 47 migrants, including two children, in immediate need of medical care aboard the sailboat in distress off the region of Calabria, in the “toe” of the Italian peninsula, a coastguard statement said.

They were rescued by a coastguard boat early on Tuesday.

The statement said the rescues began late on Monday night and ended in the early hours of Wednesday in the Ionian Sea off Calabria’s east coast.

One coastguard vessel took on about 590 migrants from aboard a fishing boat, and then later brought on about 650 migrants from another fishing boat, the statement said.

A coastguard boat and an Italian border police ship came to the assistance of a fourth vessel, with 130 migrants aboard.

Authorities did not immediately give details on the nationalities of the passengers or routes taken by the migrant vessels.

Earlier this year, a migrant boat navigating on that route slammed into a sandbank just off a Calabrian beach town and broke apart. At least 94 migrants perished and 80 others survived.


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