Coastline of Lampedusa


She was already lying on the jetty on Lampedusa, seemingly lifeless among dozens of corpses. But then someone noticed she was still breathing. Instead of being placed in a zinc coffin like so many others, she was quickly airlifted by helicopter to a hospital in Palermo.

It is still unclear whether the unidentified woman from Eritrea, who is about 20, can be saved. If she is, she will be one of about 150 survivors of a tragedy that unfolded at approximately 4 a.m. last Thursday near Isola dei Conigli, or Rabbit Island, off the coast of Lampedusa when a ship that had sailed from the Libyan city of Misrata with about 500 refugees on board caught fire and sank. At least 181 lost their lives within sight of Italy, which they viewed as a promised land. More than 100 are still believed missing, as divers and the Italian coast guard battle high seas and strong winds in their recovery efforts. [Read the full article]