As more and more migrants land on Italian shores, an Italian prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into an incident in which a Libyan boat rammed a migrant dinghy. Three people are still missing.
Another day saw another tragedy at sea and new landings on Italian shores of migrants from North African shores. Women and children were among those who landed on the island of Lampedusa and on the coasts of the Calabria region in southern Italy. There have also been several operations by the Ocean Viking, a migrant rescue vessel run by the French NGO SOS Méditerranée.
Three missing after boat crashed into sea
A dinghy carrying 21 migrants was rammed in international waters by a Libyan fishing boat: five people ended up in the water, only two of whom managed to get back on the boat with the help of the other passengers. The other three – a Somali and two Ivorians – are still missing.
The Agrigento public prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation for manslaughter as well as complicity in illegal migration in the context of this case. The 18 survivors were rescued and disembarked at Lampedusa by a coastguard patrol boat returning from another rescue operation. They come from four countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea Conakry, Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone.
The survivors told police they weighed anchor Friday night from Aboukammash in Libya. They said the shelling did not appear to have been intentional.
Many migrants arrive on the Italian island and the southern coasts
Prior to the arrival of survivors of the ramming incident, the Coast Guard had rescued 62 migrants aboard a 12-meter-long boat which had left Libya the previous night. All are Egyptian and one is a minor.
In recent days, Lampedusa has seen an intensification of migrant arrivals: seven boats on Saturday and five on Friday, carrying a total of nearly 600 people.
Over 100 people rescued amid stormy seas
Some 122 migrants, mostly Syrian and Afghan nationals, were rescued tens of kilometers off Riace, in the Reggio Calabria region of southern Italy, by Financial Police vessels. They were on board a motorized patrol boat of about 20 meters but the engine had experienced problems and the boat was drifting in the middle of rough seas. There were about ten children and unaccompanied minors among them.
It took several hours before a financial police motorboat managed to land them, where they are temporarily housed in a structure inside the port run by volunteers from the Red Cross and Civil Protection. .