Thirty Dead Found on a Migrate Boat off Italian Coast

Written by | Monday, June 30th, 2014

Earlier today, thirty bodies were found in a migrant boat which was stopped between the Italian island of Sicily and the North African coast, according to the sources from Italian navy and coastguard. The rescuers made the gruesome discovery when they boarded a fishing boat carrying close to 600 refugees and migrants to evacuate those in most distress, including two pregnant women. It is not the first time Italian rescuers have found dead bodies of migrants on the overcrowded boats but never before were there such a large number. The boat has later been towed by the Italian navy and is expected to arrive later today (30 June) in Pozzallo on the southeast coast of Sicily. Over the past weekend more than 1,600 migrants were rescued by Italian authorities, which brings the total number of migrants so far this year to above 60,000. This number is even expected to soar past the record 63,000 set in 2011 during the Arab Spring uprisings.
Italy has long borne the brunt of migrants making the perilous crossing from North Africa to Europe, but EU border agency Frontex has reported that there has been a significant rise in numbers in recent months.The last few weeks have seen a series of tragedies, with ten people drowning and 39 having to be rescued after their boat sank off the Libyan coast earlier in June. Italy has repeatedly asked for more EU countries to join Mare Nostrum, which is Europe’s biggest ever search-and-rescue mission, but so far only Slovenia has chipped in, offering one ship for two months late last year. The Italian presidency of the EU starting on 1 July will make it a priority to push for concerted action.

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