The death toll of a fatal Mediterranean sea crossing to Italy rose to 29 for a packed boat of migrants who were rescued by the Italian coastal guard off the southern island of Lampedusa on Monday.
Strong winter winds and waves made rescue operations difficult for the two guard ships that still managed to save the life of most of the 106 migrants on the boat.
Seven migrants were found dead, probably by hypothermia, while other 22 died later while being transported to Lampedusa, according to local reports. Some others were hospitalized.
Lampedusa Major Giusi Nicolini complained that the current rescue-and-search efforts of the European Union (EU) Frontex border patrol agency were not enough to prevent the tragic deaths.
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