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Italian Coast Guard Rescues 22, Recovers 9 Bodies After Boat Capsizes

22 people were rescued by an Italian coast guard after a smugglers’ boat capsized in Lampedusa.

An Italian coast guard has rescued 22 people and recovered nine bodies after a smugglers’ boat capsized near Lampedusa in stormy seas.

Survivors recounted the harrowing journey from Tunisia, emphasizing the perilous conditions.

The boat had departed from Sfax, Tunisia, carrying 46 people from Guinea, Burkina Faso, Mali and Ivory Coast.

The boat capsized on Wednesday morning as waves reached up to 5 meters (16 feet) and “the group became very agitated when the engine broke down and they were left adrift,’’ the U.N. refugee agency said.

Among the victims were a 6-month-old child and eight men. UNHCR reported that six survivors were treated for severe hypothermia and dehydration, with two still hospitalized.

Despite challenging conditions, the coast guard continues air surveillance to ensure no one is left in distress.

However, as summer approaches and attempts to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Africa to Europe increase, concerns grow regarding the risk of more shipwrecks, especially as stricter Italian port rules limit charity rescue operations.

Melissa Enoch

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