Italian Navy Rescues 1500 Boat Migrants

Nearly 1500 boat migrants have been rescued from the Mediterranean in the past 24 hours, Italian authorities conducting maritime search and rescue operations say.

The Italian navy, the Marina Militare, said on Thursday it picked up 764 people overnight, 227 in the morning, including 13 women and seven children, and about 200 more in the afternoon.

The coast guard said separately that it came to the rescue of 251 boat migrants late on Wednesday and that it was bringing them onshore to Pozzallo, a small coast town on Sicily’s south-eastern tip.

Italy is facing a record inflow of boat migrants.

In the first six months of the year, 61,585 arrived on the country’s shores, compared to less than 43,000 during the whole of 2013, according to Interior Ministry data.

On Wednesday, there were 2082 arrivals in the southern regions of Sicily and Calabria, where a navy vessel also disembarked the body of a dead migrant recovered at sea.

Ten migrants were diagnosed with scabies, a contagious skin infection.