Ship with almost 500 migrants onboard sailing from North Africa was rescued close to the island of Lampedusa, Italy. According to the information released by the Italian Coast Guard, the migrants' vessel hit rocks on the island of Lampedusa and enforced all migrants to jump into the sea. All people, including children and pregnant woman were rescued by the Italian Coast Guard, citizens and volunteers.
Controversially to the previous information, the Maltese Armed Forces announced that the migrant' vessel has been monitored by a Maltese patrol ship the migrants' vessel wasn't actually in distress.
New Agency from Italy, later announced that the migrants' vessel was escorted by the Maltese Coast Guard patrol ship toward Lampedusa island after having been heading to Malta.
A patrol ship of the Armed Forces of Malta was dispatched early yesterday to intercept the vessel with migrants off the island of Lampedusa after the Italian maritime authorities announced that they have not more available assets due to Costa Concordia wreck removal operation.
The 60-foot migrants' vessel was adrift around 66 n.m. on south-east direction of Malta and 45 nautical miles north-west of island of Lampedusa.
The Air Wing's Beechcraft King Air Patrol Aircraft of the Maltese Armed Forces was also scrambled to locate the migrants' vessel.
The migrants' ship was located by the AFM's aircraft at the late afternoon, sailing northwards in a direction of 42 nautical miles from the island of Lampedusa.
The migrants loaded vessel proceeded unassisted toward the Lampedusa island under the patrol vessel P-61's surveillance until a patrol vessel dispatched by the Italian maritime officials to escort the migrants' vessel to the port.