The Coast Guard found the survivors at dawn on 7th September. In order to stay afloat and to reach the shore, many had removed their clothes. Half naked, cold and terrified, they had taken shelter on the tiny island of Lampione, little more than 1km². They had reached the very first strip of the “promised land” which they had risked their lives for.
UNCONVINCING REPORTS Around 40 of the 56 migrants rescued had managed to reach the island. The rest were still in the water. But not all of the 136 migrants, the majority of whom were Tunisian, aboard the boat which ran into problems 12 miles from Lampedusa, survived.
Rescuers were told that the boat had left Tunisian shores and had begun sinking just off the coast of the smallest of the Pelagie islands. Nonetheless, there are many unanswered questions surrounding these accounts.
BODY FOUND IN WATER No trace of the boat which had allegedly sunk has been found. There are no signs of any objects floating in the water or spilt fuel. Furthermore, only one body has been found in the water. The rest seem to have vanished into thin air.
All of these anomalies have left those leading the investigation, carried out by the Agrigento Public Prosecution Office, to think that a different version of events took place. It is believed that what actually occurred was the repeat of a similar operation carried out some months previously. The migrants were “dumped” in the water a short distance from the small island of Lampione, thereby enabling the boat to make a getaway.