Italian navy ends search after April shipwreck

2015-10-15 16:55
This hand-out video grab released by the Italian Navy shows a blue ship, believed to be the sunken wreck,  lying 375m below the surface of the sea. (Marina Militare Italiana, via AFP)

This hand-out video grab released by the Italian Navy shows a blue ship, believed to be the sunken wreck, lying 375m below the surface of the sea. (Marina Militare Italiana, via AFP)

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Rome - Italy's navy said on Thursday it has given up on trying to recover more bodies from the wreck of a boat that sank off Libya six months ago, in what was described at the time as the worst-ever Mediterranean migration accident.

The Marina Militare said recovery attempts, conducted through a remotely operated device, were abandoned "a few days ago". It added that a wreath had been placed on the wreck of the fishing vessel, which sank on April 18 and is lying 375m below sea level.

The navy said 118 bodies had been recovered since the operation started in June. The same tally was communicated in a previous statement from September 7, suggesting that over the past weeks no more bodies could be recovered.

According to survivors' accounts, the boat had more than 800 people on board, many of whom were locked inside its hold. In the immediate aftermath of the shipwreck, rescuers found 24 bodies floating at sea and 28 survivors.

Read more on:    italy  |  libya  |  migrants  |  north africa

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