About Laura Smith-Spark, Harsh Barbie Nadeau and Livia Borghese, CNN
(CNN) — An unmanned boat with hundreds of migrants on board was drifting without power off the southeast coast of Italy Friday was towed by a boat from the Coast Guard of Iceland.
The Italian authorities responded late Thursday to a call from the freighter Ezadeen, said Coast Guard Italy. It is the second rescue of an unmanned ship off the coast of Italy, in what appears to be a worrying new tactics of traffickers.
At night, the Ezadeen I stood at 93 kilometers offshore from the city of Crotone, in the Ionian Sea, Italian coast guard said, where rescuers tried to restart the engines of the boat.
the vessel Tyr, coast guard, He worked as part of an Italian-led operation to tow the stranded ship to shore.
Tyr watching for Frontex, management agency borders of the European Union, when he was called to help.
Members of the Coast Guard brought food and water for immigrants, among those between 50 and 60 children and many pregnant. Any medical emergency was reported.
The Italian Air Force and Coast Guard said Thursday that weather had hampered the rescue operation, with members of the Coast Guard boat carried by helicopter, flying the flag of Sierra Leone.
The alarm sounded when migrants launched an SOS, dijo Floriana Secret, a spokeswoman for the Italian coast guard.
Told CNN that since last September, has been 15 Similar cargo boats carrying migrants mainly from Syria that are rich and can afford more than others who are forced to travel on smaller boats.
He cited the International Organization for Migration to say that the price for each passenger was approximately 7,260 dollars, with reduced if more than 250 passengers.
He said those cargo ships leave from a Greek or Turkish port with migrants on board. Are old merchant ships "should not sail in the Mediterranean Sea", told, and still have a flag, as in the case ofEzadeen, or carry a false flag.
Sail in Turkish or Greek waters without arousing suspicion and appear normal merchant ships, Segreto said.
However, said that once operational in Italian waters "of salvation and redemption", launched a distress call via satellite phone to a humanitarian association or directly with the Italian coastguard.
Smugglers jump ship or mixed with migrants. Only when all passengers are questioned on the coast, researchers have an opportunity to identify smugglers, Segreto said.
Frontex spokeswoman, Ewa Moncure, He drew parallels between what happened in theEzadeen and the Blue Sky M, a cargo ship apparently was also abandoned by its crew this week with nearly 800 people aboard, and are believed to be migrants from Syria. Docked in the southern port of Gallipoli on Wednesday after the Italian coast guard took control.
In each case, traffickers seem to use the same method of using large cargo ships and off-duty were "brought death", Moncure said.
He said it is a "multimillion dollar business" for those who operate these ships. Moncure estimated that each passenger paid about 3,000 dollars to ride the Ezadeen.
Frontex spokeswoman said that although his work focuses on border control, ships agency, provided by member states of the European Union, are required to assist in search and rescue situations.
With larger numbers of migrants from countries such as Syria and Eritrea putting their lives at the hands of unscrupulous traffickers, your efforts are much needed.
Faced with a crisis on its shores, Italy launched Operation Mare Nostrum (Our Sea) to try to find and rescue stranded migrants. Now project reduced, which cost the Italians 10.9 billion since November 2013 late 2014.
In October, the European Union announced it would launch its own operation Frontex, called Triton, in the central Mediterranean to help fill the void.
Boats equipped with cells and quarantine areas
Although Operation Mare Nostrum is over, Italian naval assets still perform rescues in cooperation with Frontex boats, they call for help.
The San Giorgio, a ship that was converted to rescue migrants in the Mare Nostrum and was the main vehicle rescue, is still active in these missions and was used last week to rescue those on board the Greek ferry that was burned, the Norman Atlantic.
It is equipped with an infirmary, cells for smugglers, sections quarantine for potential patients with Ebola and sleeping quarters for migrants. CNN came out last month with a patrol of Frontex in the San Mino, a Japanese fishing boat turned into a ship of the Spanish coast guard.
José María Dueñas, commander San Mino, said the crew is seen as search and rescue. "Do not go back to migrants, the rescue ", told.
Dangerous sea routes
Amid the continuing deaths of migrants at sea, Amnesty International warned last month that Triton was "greatly reduced in scale and covered area" compared to Mare Nostrum and called on EU nations to increase their efforts.
“People still take these dangerous sea routes to Europe. If the EU is serious about preventing the Mediterranean from becoming a graveyard, must be prepared to deploy search and rescue routes desperate refugees and migrants make ", Jonathan said Dalhuisen, Director of Amnesty International's Europe and Central Asia.
Over 207,000 people crossed the Mediterranean to reach Europe illegally in 2014, said last month the Commission for Refugees, an agency of the UN refugee, nearly three times the previous peak of about 70,000 in 2011. That is 60% almost 348,000 boat migrants worldwide last year.
“Europe, to deal with conflict in the southern border (Libya), this one (Ukraine) and southeast (Syria / Iraq) seen as many arrivals by sea ", UN agency said.
Last year, more than 3,400 immigrants died, many of them drowned after traveling on ships not suitable for the coasts of Middle East and North Africa in the Mediterranean.
The journalists Latza Barbie Nadeau and Livia Borghese reported from Rome and Laura Smith-Spark wrote and reported from London. Sweeling Ong and Sara Delgrossi CNN contributed to this report.