Iceland’s Coast Guard Takes Control of Another Migrant Ship Off Italy

Ezadeen
Sierra Leone-flagged Ezadeen vessel, carrying hundreds of migrants, is towed by the Icelandic Coast Guard vessel Tyr in rough seas in the Mediterranean sea off Italy’s south coast in this handout provided by the Icelandic Coast Guard January 2, 2015. via Reuters

The Icelandic coast guard patrol vessel Tyr, with support from the Italian Coast Guard, is conducting an extensive rescue in the Mediterranean tonight after discovering an abandoned tankership off the coast of Italy.

According to Coast Guard officials, the vessel Ezadeen is believed to be carrying up to 400 refugees and the ship was not under command while in heavy seas when a distress call was made.

Four Icelandic Coast Guard officials and six from the Italian coast guard have boarded the vessel to gain control of the ship and care for the refugees while the Italian Coast Guard works to transfer food, water and other supplies via helicopter.

The vessel is now under tow by the Tyr and is expected to enter port at some time this afternoon.

According to MarineTraffic, Ezadeen is a 73 meter, Sierra Leone-flagged livestock carrier.