Italy is launching efforts to raise up a fishing boat that capsized a year ago in the Mediterranean with some 800 smuggled refugees in their attempt for a better life in Europe.
Italian naval ships are to set sail from Sicily for the shipwreck site on Monday evening. Upon their arrival, they will determine the best way to lift the wreck, which still holds the bodies of the refugees, from a depth of 360 metres. Once lifted, the boat will be brought to the Sicilian port of Augusta.
The process is expected to take until the end of the month to complete.
The Italian Navy has thus far recovered 169 bodies found near the wreck, after Italy’s premier vowed to recover the lifeless bodies out of respect for the dead.
Meanwhile, some 4,000 refugees have been rescued from boats in the past weeks and 2,154 refugees were brought to safety in the Strait of Sicily between Italy and north Africa, on top of the 1,850 rescued in the area, according to Italy’s coastguard.