Italian Navy Rescues North African Migrants
On 21 July four Italian Navy units faced emergency and rescued many would-be migrants coming from North African coasts.
Corvette Sfinge rescued 95 people (including two women) from a raft; amphibious vessel San Giorgio went to the aid of two boats, rescuing 276 people (including 33 women and 5 children); two migrants had to be transferred to Catania hospital with an EH-101 helicopter.
Frigate Zeffiro, rescued 294 migrants (including 28 women and 9 children) from three boats; while corvette Urania rescued 98 migrants (28 women) from a boat.
Frigate Zeffiro, corvette Urania and an EH 101 coming from Lampedusa went to the aid of a half sunken boat and helped cargo ship Genmar Compatriot (Bermuda) to take onboard 61 migrants and 5 corpses; the operations were also supported by Coast Guard patrol vessel CP905.
The migrants reported that on board the makeshift boat there were 80 people. ITS Urania continues the search operations in the region, while frigate Zeffiro is going to join ITS San Giorgio to ferry the people already rescued.
At the moment the ITN ships are hosting a total of 1,771 migrants waiting to be ferried to the ports according to the Ministry of Home Affairs’ directions.
Press Release, July 24, 2014; Image: Italian Navy