Two migrants dead, eight missing off Sardinia

Two migrants dead, eight missing off Sardinia
A file photo of the Sardinian coast. Photo: AFP
Two migrants have drowned off the coast of Sardinia and another eight are missing after they tried to swim to land from their drifting boat, the coastguard said on Saturday.

The wooden boat carrying 13 migrants, reportedly Algerian, lost power on Thursday and 10 of them decided to try to swim to land, an Italian coastguard statement said.

“The (three) surviving migrants said that after the engine failure about one kilometre (over half a mile) off the island of Toro, 10 of the 13 occupants jumped into the sea to swim to the coast,” it said.

Boats, planes and helicopters were deployed to find them, with two bodies recovered and the search ongoing.

Italian government figures say that 1,167 Algerian migrants have arrived in Italy so far this year.

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