Italian coast guard divers recover 7 bodies of migrants

U.S. & World

ROME (AP) — Italian coast guard divers on Saturday recovered the bodies of seven people in the sea off a tiny island where a boat crowded with migrants capsized a week earlier.

The recovery, at a depth of 47 meters (155 feet), near Lampedusa raised to 12 the number of bodies found from the capsizing.

The ANSA news agency said at least eight other bodies were spotted on the sea bottom.

A coast guard statement made no mention of that, saying only the search would continue on Sunday, weather permitting.

The coast guard rescued 149 people shortly after the boat overturned in rough waters on Nov. 23, about a mile (2 kilometers) offshore the southern Italian isle. Survivors had said around 20 were missing from the boat, which had been launched by Libya-based human traffickers.

Searchers found five bodies the next day.

In the last several years, hundreds of thousands of people fleeing poverty or violence in their homelands have risked their lives aboard migrant smugglers’ unseaworthy boats to reach European shores after setting out from Libya.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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