Strong winds and rough seas hampered the search for remains of migrant bodies off the island of Lampedusa for a second day on Saturday.
At least 100 bodies are believed still missing, after 300 people are thought to have drowned in a boat wreck in one of the worst disasters of Europe’s immigration crisis.
Rescue teams, who are now using planes and helicopters, have so far recovered over 110 bodies. Rescue divers expect to find more around the wreck, submerged less than a kilometre from the shore of Lampedusa.
Gianluca Di Palma, Lampedusa port worker, told euronews:
“I know that as citizens of Lampedusa, we have already done what we should have done. We did it with grace and we will continue to do it to help these people. Lampedusa is a small spot in the middle of the sea where everyone can find a place to rest. We are here for everyone: Syrians, Tunisians, Greeks and Turks, we are here for them. Our history shows it,” he said.
Residents of Lampedusa held a candlelit vigil on Friday night in memory of more than 110 African migrants who died.
Some of those walking demanded the European Union take responsibility for the plight of refugees who, they say, do not want to stay in Lampedusa but are trying to reach a better life in other European countries.
As the Italians were saying prayers for the perished migrants, the Coast Guard announced that it had brought another boatload of 60 migrants, thought to be from Syria, to the Port of Pozzallo in Sicily. They included 11 women and 13 children.