Almost two weeks after the ship sank in southern Italy, the Italian Coast Guard came to the rescue of three migrant boats. According to Italian media, there are about 1,300 people on board the boat.
On Friday morning, the Italian Coast Guard received a report that a fishing boat had been in trouble 70 nautical miles south of Crotone, the city where a ship carrying about 200 migrants sank two weeks ago. According to the first report from Frontex, there are more than 500 people on the boats.
Two more ships have now been spotted making the waters, about 100 miles off the southern Italian coast. It is said that another eight hundred immigrants were on board these two ships. So there are a total of 1,300 people on a boat who are at risk of drowning, including a large number of women and children.
Marines come to the rescue
The number of immigrants is so great that the Italian Coast Guard has called in the help of the Navy. The Ministry of Defense said that the survey ship Sirio is on its way “at full speed” to the place where the Coast Guard is active, with a total of seven ships.
The Italian Coast Guard has come under fire for intervening too late two weeks ago in the shipping disaster in the town of Cutro. The shipwreck killed 73 people. The 73rd victim was pulled from the water Friday morning.
The reception center is overcrowded
These three ships are part of a series of ships that have been trying to reach Italy in recent days. Three thousand refugees arrived in Sicily and Lampedusa in the past week, and the reception center on the small island is overcrowded. In the first two months of this year, a total of 12,000 people crossed into Italy, more than double the number for the same period last year.
The rescue comes the day after the Italian government announced tougher measures to combat illegal immigration. Under the new rules, people smugglers can face up to 30 years in prison if more than one person dies during a boat trip.
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