Italy rescues 67 asylum seekers

Wikipedia

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

67 asylum seekers have been rescued by the Italian Coast Guard on Saturday.

The group of asylum seekers was on board a wooden boat adrift in Italian territorial waters some 12 nautical miles off the coast of Lampedusa.

The operation was carried out by the Italian Coast Guard and the law enforcement agency, Guardia di Finanza.

The Italian Coast Guard said that some of the migrants on board the wooden boat jumped into the water upon seeing the naval assets. The people were rescued immediately. The group of asylum seekers were taken to Lampedusa.

Migrant NGO Alarm Phone had alerted the Italian authorities that a boat carrying asylum seekers had almost reached the Italian search and rescue region. The boat had experienced an engine failure. Alarm Phone stressed that the migrants required immediate help.

A group of 57 asylum seekers remain stuck on a chartered boat 13 nautical miles off the coast of Malta. The group was on board a boat adrift in the Maltese search and rescue region. The government chartered a Captain Morgan vessel to house the migrants.

Both Malta and Italy moved to close their ports to migrant landings in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Malta has also stated that it could not guarantee sea rescue.