(ANSAmed) - SANTA MARIA DI LEUCA (LECCE), 20 JUNE - The
search for seven migrants missing after the boat they were on
wrecked in the Strait of Otranto has gone on all night, but it
According to what the Harbour Office coordinating the search
reported two Coast Guard boats and an helicopter of the
Financial Police Corp have been working all night. Thanks to
favourable weather conditions, since today at dawn the area has
been searched by two Coast Guard patrol boats, two Financial
Police patrol boats, two Carabinieri Corp and State Police boats
and further monitored from above by an helicopter of the
Military Navy and two Coast Guard planes.
The boat wrecked yesterday at approximately 06:40 in the
morning; the small powerboat in fibreglass with 11 migrants
aboard had departed from a Greek port and sank at a distance of
approximately 06 miles north-west of Leuca and Torre Vado, in
Morciano di Leuca. Four migrants (2 Libyans, a Tunisian and an
Afghan), including a minor, were rescued and taken to the Leuca
marina, then to the Tricase (Lecce) hospital. After having been
given first aid, they were taken to the reception centre "Don
Tonino Bello" in Otranto (Lecce), where the State Police carried
out all necessary identification procedures.
This new tragedy of the sea occurred the day before the
international refugee day, which is being celebrated today; the
wreck prompted again a heated political debate in Italy.
According to Puglia's governor Nichi Vendola, ''it is
unthinkable to manage migration flows which are taking place on
an ever-increasing scale using repression, as if they were a
huge public order issue."
According to the Chairman of the Commission for Human Rights
at the Senate, Pietro Marcenaro, "it's about time to accelerate
initiatives and negotiations by Europe and Italy, in order to
let the UNCHR open their centres in the countries of departure
of migrants. These centres would make it possible to apply for
asylum and humanitarian protection and to organise legal and
safe travel." (ANSAmed).