Italian Coast Guard rescues more than 700 migrants in Calabria and Syracuse waters

A wrecked boat with migrants on board in Steccato di Cutro, Italy. – Giovanni Isolino/LaPresse via ZU / DPA

The Italian Coast Guard on Thursday rescued more than 700 migrants in two separate operations during the day off the coasts of Syracuse and Calabria, where a shipwreck in late February left nearly 90 people dead.

The first Coast Guard operation, which was coordinated by the maritime authorities of Reggio Calabria, rescued 295 migrants aboard a fishing boat off the coast of Calabria early in the morning. »The rescued people were transported to safety on three patrol boats,» it said in a statement.

On the other hand, the second operation carried out by the Coast Guard, in close collaboration with the maritime authorities of Catania, has rescued 450 migrants aboard another fishing boat east of Syracuse.

»The unit, in precarious sailing conditions, was reached and rescued by the Corsi Vessel and a Coast Guard SAR patrol boat. On the spot, three merchant vessels and a Frontex patrol vessel assisted,» it has specified.

These rescues follow the shipwreck at the end of February of a boat with about 200 migrants on board off the coast of the Italian region of Calabria, which resulted in the death of 86 people.

Following the tragedy, Italy’s Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, met with survivors and relatives of the victims, although she also assured that her conscience was clear in the face of the restrictive migratory measures promoted by her Executive.