MADRID, 7 (EUROPE PRESS)
The balance of fatalities due to the sinking of a boat off the coast of the island of Lampedusa has risen to nine, as confirmed by the Italian Coast Guard.
“A total of nine bodies of migrants victims of the shipwreck tonight in front of Lampedusa have recovered,” he said, a few hours after confirming the death of two people.
“In addition to the two bodies found in the immediate area of the rescue, seven other lifeless bodies have been recovered this morning by two boats of the Coast Guard, after being located by a helicopter that participates in the rescue tasks,” he added.
He also stressed that “the search for missing persons continues.” So far 22 of the migrants who were in the wrecked boat have been rescued.
The Coast Guard Operations Center in Rome received information from the Palermo Single Response Center (CUR) late on Sunday about a small boat with about 50 migrants near Lampedusa.
According to the authorities, once the first information was obtained, the research activities at sea began under the coordination of the Palermo Coast Guard, which has made use of a Class 300 patrol boat of the Lampedusa Coast Guard and a Guardia di Finanza unit that was already in an area in patrol activity.
“Once the boat was spotted and to continue with the transshipment operations, the naval units approached the small boat, but the adverse climatic conditions and the sudden displacement of the migrants caused the unit to overturn,” said the Coast Guard.