Wednesday, May 27, 2015Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Italy rescues more than 1700 boat migrants in three days

Published on Jul 15, 2014 11:30 PM

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's search-and-rescue mission saved more than 1,700 migrants in the Mediterranean in the past three days and found one person dead on a half-submerged raft, the navy said on Tuesday.

This year's calmer summer weather has seen record numbers of people attempt to cross the sea from North Africa to Italy, often on packed boats and leaking rafts. Many are fleeing poverty, war and military conscription.

Italy's "Mare Nostrum", or "Our Sea", mission rescued more than 1,500 people in the Strait of Sicily between Saturday and Monday and more than 200 more from three rafts on Monday night, the navy said.

The rescue mission found one body on a sinking raft from it rescued another 12 people about 40 miles from the Libyan coast, the navy said.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!