> ANSA English > News

Some 500 rescued migrants being taken to Augusta

Good weather sees hazardous Mediterranean crossings resume

16 February, 15:14
Some 500 rescued migrants being taken to Augusta (ANSA) - Rome, February 16 - The Italian Navy said Sunday that some 500 migrants rescued while attempting the hazardous crossing from North Africa to Italy were being taken to the Sicilian port of Augusta.

This migrants are expected to arrive in Augusta on Monday.

The Navy said it had picked up 572 migrants from a number of boats in trouble since Friday, when the end of a period of bad weather led to a resumption of migrant crossings.

It said that 493 of the migrants, including 18 minors, were saved on Saturday alone.

They come from Gambia, Mali, Senegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Congo, Burkina Faso and Sudan. Tens of thousands of migrants arrive in Italy from North Africa every year and many others die attempting the crossing in often rickety vessels.

In November around 400 people died in two separate migrant-boat disasters near to the Sicilian island of Lampedusa.