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All safe from rescued immigrant boat off Lampedusa

03/07/2013

Some 80 people found adrift, including 4 pregnant women

All safe from rescued immigrant boat off Lampedusa

(updates previous) Rome, July 3 - The Italian Navy said on Wednesday that all of the migrants who crossed the Mediterranean to reach Italy are safe after earlier reports that they feared several of the passengers had died during the journey. A ship from the Italian Navy and two from the Coast Guard rescued the raft with roughly 80 people on board that was adrift 80 miles off the coast of Lampedusa. Of the passengers, 10 are women, four of whom are pregnant, the Coast Guard said. The tiny island which is part of Sicily will host Pope Francis on his first trip outside the Rome area as pontiff Monday. He is scheduled to celebrate a mass at an immigration center that has been a constant source of overcrowding. Immigration from Northern Africa picks up in summer months as sea conditions improve. But many die while attempting the voyage, often in crammed and unsafe boats.