ROME (Reuters) – The Italian coastguard rescued 573 migrants at sea who were trying to reach Europe aboard two fishing boats in distress in bad weather, a statement said on Tuesday. One body was found.
The rescue operation took place off the southern Italian coast. Three coastguard units transferred the migrants to another vessel, which will bring them ashore at the port of Augusta in Sicily.
The migrants told the coastguard the body found was that of a migrant who had died several days earlier, the statement said.
The group of rescued migrants included 59 minors, many of them unaccompanied.
Italy has seen an increase in boat migrants in recent months with the government struggling to secure an agreement with European Union partners over how to deal with the influx.
(Reporting by Angelo Amante; Editing by Nick Macfie)