Marine Link
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Italy Recovers 118 Bodies From April Shipwreck

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

October 15, 2015

Italy's navy said on Thursday it had recovered 118 bodies in a four-month underwater operation on the wreck of a fishing boat that sank in April with up to 800 migrants on board.

It laid a wreath on the deck of the sunken vessel with the help of a robotic arm.

The shipwreck, believed to be the most deadly in the Mediterranean in decades, became a symbol of Europe's migration crisis and prompted the European Union to expand its rescue mission off the Libyan coast.

The technical analysis of the 20-metre (65.5 ft) shipwreck is complete, opening the way for the recovery of the vessel as Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has pledged to do, the navy said in a statement.

Bodies were recovered from the seabed around the ship, but many more may still be trapped below deck.

The overcrowded fishing boat capsized and sank as it approached a merchant ship that had come to its aid.

In June, the navy began using remote-controlled submersibles to bring up bodies from around the wreck, which is about 135 km (85 miles) north of Libya at a depth of about 370 metres (1,214 ft), the navy said.

The navy said it had laid a wreath on the deck of the sunken vessel with the help of a robotic arm. No details about the expected recovery of the boat were provided.


(Reporting by Steve Scherer)

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