Italian coast guard rescues 180 asylum seekers in Maltese SAR

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Italian coast guard has rescued some 180 asylum seekers in Maltese search and rescue region some 35nm south-west of Lampedusa.

The Italian authorities said that the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Rome informed the Italian coast guard about a distress call issued by a small boat. The Maltese authorities were immediately notified and assumed responsibility for the coordination of the rescue operation.

Three boats operated by the Italian coast guard took the people on board the small board After the rescue, the Italian authorities sailed in direction of Malta, as they wait for a place of safety which would be identified by the Maltese authorities.

A spokesperson for the Armed Forces of Malta said that there was no information about the case when asked to confirm the details by the Italian authorities.

Earlier this afternoon 76 asylum seekers were brought to safety.