Hundreds of migrants arrive in Sicily

Access to the comments Comments
By Catherine Hardy  with AFP, AP
Hundreds of migrants arrive in Sicily

Hundreds of migrants have arrived at the Italian port of Messina.

A total of 368 were plucked from the water in the straits of Messina off Sicily on Wednesday.

They were travelling on three small vessels and three inflatable boats.

The Italian coastguard says they carried out six separate rescue operations on Wednesday.

The numbers

  • 650 migrants arrive in Messina on Wednesday
  • 4,655 rescued on Tuesday
  • 28 bodies recovered
  • 30 rescue missions off Libyan coast
  • 11,000 rescued over two days
  • 142,000 have arrived in Italy since the start of 2016

(Figures from the Italian coastguard)

11,000 rescued

The latest to be rescued are some of the estimated 11,000 to be saved on Monday and Tuesday this week alone.

Hundreds were found adrift in unseaworthy boats in the open sea.

29 people were reported as having suffocated in the hold of one overloaded fishing boat.

It had around 1,000 people on board and was on the brink of capsizing.

The deaths bring the total number of those who perished this week to 50.

Three babies born on rescue vessel

Italian officials say three heavily-pregnant women rescued on Monday gave birth on board the coastguard vessel that was bringing them to safety.

The mothers and babies were said to be well.