Boat carrying 86 immigrants rescued off Lampedusa

Island's holding centre over capacity

Boat carrying 86 immigrants rescued off Lampedusa

Rome, July 17 - A boat carrying 86 immigrants was rescued by an Italian tanker 100 miles south of Lampedusa and taken to the tiny island by coast guards early on Wednesday. One of the immigrants on board had first called Palermo's port authority with his cell phone on Tuesday asking for help. The tanker, alerted by authorities as the nearest boat in the area, located the migrants last night and rescued them. The migrants, including 12 women, two pregnant, then boarded two Coast Guard cutters at dawn and landed in Lampedusa. The southern Italian island receives thousands of migrants every spring and summer, who disembark from the North African coast. Its migrant holding centre, made to accommodate a maximum of 300 people, was hosting a total of 371 North African migrants on Wednesday morning.

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