The Italian Navy Landing Platform Helicopter (LPH) ship San Marco saved 233 migrants from an ill-fated journey in the Mediterranean waters south of Sicily late Wednesday, Reuters reports.
The immigrants were subsequently transferred to a frigate, which ferried them to Augusta, a port town in eastern Sicily, according to Italian Navy officials.
The migrants are predominantly from Sub-Saharan Africa, who ventured into the rough seas, their destination being Lampedusa, Italy. The island is much closer to the African migrants that the Italian mainland, making it the point of choice for the sea arrivals.
In 2013 hundreds of people died trying to reach Italy, the worst case being in October, when over 300 migrants drowned in a tragic incident near the Italian island. The migration is largely influenced by the Syrian civil war and political upheavals in the Horn of Africa.
Naval Today Staff, January 3, 2014; Image: Wikimedia