The Italian coast guard has rescued 296 people who were floating about 22 kilometres off the coast. Some of them floated in the water, and the rest were on an overcrowded boat that the rough seas had hit.
Three ships and an aircraft were involved in the rescue. The boatload of migrants headed toward Lampedusa, an Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea between Tunisia and Sicily. Many migrants from Africa arrive there.
The number of people travelling in boats from Africa to Italy has increased significantly in recent weeks. This puts great pressure on the rescue services, which increasingly have to turn out to help boats that have broken down. In 2021, nearly 62,000 migrants came to Italy by sea.
The German rescue vessel Sea Watch-4 is currently also cruising the Mediterranean Sea with 460 people on board. These people were all rescued from the sea. The ship has submitted ten requests to dock but has not yet received a single response. The Italian coastguard has already disembarked as many as 19 people due to their health conditions.