Boat with 300 migrants `aground` near Italian port

Coast guards launched a rescue operation and have plucked dozens from water.

Updated: May 08, 2011, 13:48 PM IST

Rome: A boat carrying 300 migrants ran aground as it neared an Italian port on Sunday, forcing many of those on board including women and children to jump into the sea, Italian news agency ANSA reported.

Coast guards launched a rescue operation and have already plucked dozens of people from the water after the boat hit rocks on the approach to the island of Lampedusa in southern Italy, the report said, citing officials.

The boat had apparently been headed for Malta but was escorted by Maltese coast guards towards Lampedusa, the officials were quoted as saying.

Also on Sunday another boat carrying 800 people arrived in Lampedusa.

The island has seen thousands of arrivals in recent days of people fleeing Libya. Most of them are migrant workers from sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Bureau Report