Migrants abandoned on ship rescued

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Published: Wednesday 31st December 2014 by The News Editor

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Almost 1,000 migrants have been safely rescued after smugglers abandoned them on a cargo ship in rough seas.

Italian coast guard officials said the 970 migrants, most of them believed to be Syrians, arrived in Gallipoli, south-eastern Italy, before dawn. More than 100 of them were treated for hypothermia.

Six Italian coast guard workers had been lowered by helicopter onto the Moldovan-flagged Blue Sky M after a passenger sent out a distress call while the ship was off the Greek coast.

Coast guard spokesman Filippo Marini said they found no crew aboard and the ship’s engine was shut off. The Italians then steered the ship to Italy.

To avoid capture, smugglers frequently abandon migrants at sea. Tens of thousands try to cross the Mediterranean each year, fleeing conflict and poverty.

Published: Wednesday 31st December 2014 by The News Editor

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