The bodies of eight migrants have been recovered by Italy’s coast guard during an operation overnight that also rescued 42 survivors in the central Mediterranean off the island of Lampedusa, authorities said Friday.
Another two people, a newborn and a man, fell into the sea during the crossing and were presumed dead, the coast guard said in a statement, citing survivor accounts.
Video of the rescue shows the survivors packed in a small open fishing boat, which was adrift with a nonfunctioning motor. Rescuers warned them to sit down and not move before throwing a line to pull them to safety.
Survivors said they had departed the Tunisian port of Sfax before dawn on Saturday, ANSA said. They were among some 200 migrants, mostly from sub-Saharan African nations, who arrived at Lampedusa on three boats overnight.
Italy agreed over the weekend to supply Libya with five new coast guard boats to help stem the movement of migrants to Europe. The deal was announced during a visit by Meloni that secured an $8 billion gas deal.