Migrants rescued after clinging to rocks near Lampedusa for days

Coastguard rescue migrants from rocks
Coastguard rescue migrants from rocks Copyright AP Photo
By Philip Andrew Churm with AP
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Several migrants have been rescued by Italian coast guards after clinging onto rocks near Lampedusa for several days


Italian coast guards in helicopters battled high winds and rough seas to rescue a number of migrants clinging to a rocky reef in waters off Lampedusa.

The group, including a child and two pregnant women, had been stranded on the outcrop since Friday.

They were among dozens of people shipwrecked after three smugglers' boats foundered in the area over the weekend in separate incidents. They were transferred to the island's migrant centre.

Earlier, the coast guard pulled tens of people from the choppy seas after their vessels capsized.

It is thought around 30 others may still be missing.

Italian officials said the bodies of a child and a woman were recovered, while 57 migrants were saved.

Over 1,800 migrants are known to have died this year while attempting to cross the Mediterranean in overcrowded boats launched mainly from Tunisia or Libya.

So many had made the crossing in recent days that 2,450 migrants are currently housed at Lampedusa's temporary residence, which has a capacity of about 400, according to officials. 

Once the winds slacken and the seas turn calm, Italy will resume ferrying hundreds of them to Sicily.

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