Last Wednesday, a Navy crew rescued over 100 men from a small craft in the rough seas of the Mediterranean.
Official sources say that 128 men, aged between 20 and 30, were saved and taken on board the USS San Antonio, an amphibious transport dock ship.
A Maltese patrol aircraft had spotted the small dinghy being buffeted about by wind and waves. The San Antonio, which was 60 nautical miles away, responded to the Maltese government’s request for help. In the rescue operation the Navy team used two 11-man lifeboat launches to reach the migrants’ boat 75 nautical miles south-west of Malta.
The navy has not released any information about possible injuries sustained by the rescued men. The Maltese government reported that the people on board the craft were from Somalia. They will be transported to the port of Malta and handed over to the Maltese coastguard.
The Mediterranean Sea has been the scene of two fatal accidents in recent weeks, where at least 400 people lost their lives.
Lampedusa, an island not far from Sicily and the nearest island to Africa, has become a destination for thousands of refugees trying to enter the European Community.