From January to June 2021, 827 migrants are estimated to have died while crossings the Mediterranean Sea. | Photo: picture alliance/dpa/AP | Bruno Thevenin
From January to June 2021, 827 migrants are estimated to have died while crossings the Mediterranean Sea. | Photo: picture alliance/dpa/AP | Bruno Thevenin

The Italian coast guard said it rescued 22 people and found one migrant dead after being called to the site of an apparent boating incident.

Italian sea rescue personnel saved 22 people after an apparent boating mishap involving people seeking to make it to Europe from Africa on Saturday. One person was reported dead, reports news agency dpa.

The Italian crew went into action immediately after receiving an overnight phone call from a Tunisian who claimed to be on a boat off the Italian coast. Rescue crews said the call came from a point off the island of Levanzo and sent two rescue helicopters and two patrol boats.

The crews reportedly found six people in the water, but one of them was already dead. The team expanded its search in the morning and found another 17 people. The coast guard says all people involved in the incidents have now been found.

The number of people arriving in Italy by boat has passed 35,000 people this year, double the number of those who arrived in 2020. The top three countries of origin of those arriving are Tunisia (9,424), Bangladesh (4,838) and Egypt (2,859) according to Italian government figures dated August 20.

Every year, the Mediterranean Sea claims thousands lives. According to the UN migration agency's Missing Migrants Project, 1,214 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean between January 1 and August 23.

Also read: To get to Europe, Tunisian migrants turn to 'self-smuggling'

With dpa

 

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