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Shipwrecked migrants rescued off Lampedusa

Shipwrecked migrants rescued off Lampedusa
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Hundreds of illegal migrants have been saved in a dramatic rescue off the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa after their boat got into trouble overnight.

Italian police and the coast guard were alerted after its steering stopped working. The vessel was being escorted into harbour when it was tossed against the rocks by strong winds.

Some migrants were hauled to the shore; some used the ropes to make their own way.

Others jumped in panic or fell into the choppy waters and were picked up by the coast guard.

The boat had sailed from Libya but police say the migrants were from sub-Saharan Africa and included women and children.

This vessel was not the only one trying to reach Europe overnight; another boat with 800 people on board also reached Lampedusa.

The migration problem has been compounded this year by tens of thousands fleeing unrest in north Africa.