News24

SOS call from 300 stranded migrants

2012-11-08 17:51

Rome - A boat in Maltese territorial waters, carrying about 300 passengers, has launched a distress call after drifting at sea for four days, the Italian coast guard said on Thursday.

The coast guard was alerted by a Habeshia, an Italian charity organisation run by a priest whom the migrants - said to be from Eritrea - had called via satellite phone.

On Wednesday, Habeshia picked up another SOS message from a migrants' boat off the Libyan coast.

Italian authorities rescued 81 passengers overnight and took them to Lampedusa, a small island in the sea channel between Sicily and North Africa.

Thousands of people escaping from poverty or persecution embark each year on the perilous journey from North Africa to Malta and Southern Italy. Hundreds drown along the way, as the unseaworthy vessels used by migrants often run into difficulty.

Comments
  • robin.stobbs.9 - 2012-11-08 18:29

    LAUNCHED a distress call? Really??

      Elizabeth Strydom-van Niekerk - 2012-11-08 18:56

      Via satellite phone ..???

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