Second migrant ship abandoned off the coast of Italy with 400 onboard

The Ezadeen, sailing under the flag of Sierra Leone, has no crew on board and has lost power in rough seas off the south-east of Italy.

The Ezadeen, seen in this file photo, is sailing under the flag of Sierra Leone and has been abandoned off the coast of Italy
The Ezadeen, seen in this file photo, is sailing under the flag of Sierra Leone and has been abandoned off the coast of Italy

The Italian coast guard says a merchant ship with at least 400 migrants on board is heading for the Italian coast.

The Ezadeen, sailing under the flag of Sierra Leone, has no crew on board and has lost power in rough seas off the south-east of Italy.

The Icelandic coast guard confirmed to the BBC that one of its vessels was assisting in efforts to board the ship. The Icelandic coast guard vessel Tyr is patrolling off the Italian coast as part of the EU Frontex border control mission.

Almost 1,000 migrants were rescued from another ship found abandoned without any crew earlier in the week.

The Icelandic coast guard told the BBC that high seas and bad weather were making it difficult to board the 73-metre Ezadeen, which is 65km off the south-eastern tip of Italy.

The Ezadeen was built nearly 50 years ago and is a livestock carrier.

The alarm was raised in a distress call from one of the migrants who managed to operate the maritime radio on board the Ezadeen, according to the Italian coast guard: "We're without crew, we're heading toward the Italian coast and we have no-one to steer."

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