Seventeen more lives were lost in a recent migrant tragedy that occurred in the Strait of Sicily.
During rescue operation on December 4, the Italian Navy vessels managed to rescue 278 migrants from three vessels south of Lampedusa.
Sixteen deaths were presumably caused by hypothermia and dehydration, and one person died of pulmonary edema.
The survivors were transported to the bunkering vessel Etna where they were examined by health and police staff.
On October 18, 2013, following tragic events off Lampedusa, where over 300 migrants died in a shipwreck, the Italian Government launched the migrant search and rescue Operation Mare Nostrum. The operation was launched to tackle massive migration flows from North Africa.
Italy recently handed these efforts over to a smaller European Union operation called Triton.
Naval Today Staff, Image: Italian Navy