Skip to main content

More than 800 migrants rescued from Mediterranean

By Livia Borghese, CNN
updated 8:15 AM EST, Fri January 3, 2014
(File) An Italian coast guard officer checks a the Mediterranean.
(File) An Italian coast guard officer checks a the Mediterranean.
  • More than 800 migrants have been rescued south of Lampedusa
  • The migrants were in four boats trying to reach the Italian island
  • 200 others were rescued the day before

(CNN) -- Italian authorities on Thursday rescued more than 800 migrants from four boats trying to reach the island of Lampedusa, the Italian navy said.

As the closest Italian island to Africa, Lampedusa, in the Mediterranean Sea, is a frequent destination for refugees seeking to enter European Union countries, and shipwrecks off its shores are common.

Navy and air force helicopters spotted the four boats, which "appeared in precarious floating conditions and overcrowded," the navy said in a statement.

The migrants were being transferred to a Navy ship and will be brought to the port of Augusta in Sicily. They were from Africa and countries such as Egypt, Pakistan and Iraq.

A day earlier, more than 200 migrants were rescued from the sea and also taken to the port of Augusta.

More than 300 African migrants died in October after their ship sank off the island's shores. Days later, another 34 people died when their boat capsized.

Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
ISIS has captured the minds of a new generation of global jihadists. What does it mean for al Qaeda?
updated 3:03 PM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
For years, Morten Storm moved between two worlds. A radical Islamist turned double agent is lifting the lid on some of the world's best-kept secrets.
updated 8:38 PM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
A man abducted alongside killed U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff tells CNN how they were kidnapped and says no one from the U.S. government has tried to talk with him since his release.
updated 9:51 PM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
Have you been to these? The global museum list, released Tuesday, ranks 25 of the world's best museums.
updated 6:16 PM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
iOS 8, the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system, comes with new features that you'll enjoy.
updated 11:34 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
What will happen to Scotland's business (not to mention its currency) if they vote to leave?
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
The Ebola virus, very deadly and currently without a cure, is fast-spreading throughout the small West African country.
updated 9:24 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
Go to any provincial city in China and you'd be forgiven for thinking the national youth pastimes are online gaming and flirting.
updated 4:51 AM EDT, Mon September 15, 2014
North Korea calls its human rights a "superior system."
updated 5:29 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
In Wenzhou, called the "Jerusalem of China," authorities have demolished churches.
Are you Muslim? What do you want the world to know about your religion?
updated 7:42 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.