Charity rescue ship with 265 migrants anchors off Italy

Italy has allowed a Spanish-flagged charity ship with 265 rescued migrants aboard to anchor off Sicily

ROME -- Italy allowed a Spanish-flagged charity ship with 265 rescued migrants aboard to anchor off Sicily on Monday.

Open Arms said 96 of those rescued had been adrift two days in a wooden boat without life vests in international waters. It said the passengers, most of them from Eritrea, included two women and 17 minors and were suffering from hypothermia when rescued.

In an earlier, separate operation, Open Arms had taken aboard 169 migrants, who had departed Libyan shores, where many human traffickers are based.

Traffickers launch unseaworthy dinghies or fishing boats, crowded with migrants who have paid them in hopes of reaching Europe so they can seek asylum. Many of the hundreds of thousands of migrants who have been rescued at sea in recent years are fleeing poverty and eventually are denied asylum by European Union countries.

Italy is trying to get fellow EU nations to take in many of the migrants who are brought ashore after rescue since many of the passengers are aiming to get to northern Europe where relatives or jobs await them.