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Dec 30, 2014 1:31 PM

Italy sends helicopters to check migrant ship

The Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece (AP) Italian authorities are sending two helicopters to meet a cargo ship believed to be carrying hundreds of migrants after a passenger sent a distress call earlier in the day when the ship was off Greece.

Air force spokesman Capt. Stefano Testa said Tuesday the Moldovan-flagged Blue Sky M ship was about 20 miles (30 kilometers) off Santa Maria di Leuca, on the southernmost tip of the "heel" of boot-shaped Italy.

Port officials in Bari said the teams were landing on the ship as a precaution to see if there were any problems on board and ensure the situation was under control.

Greek authorities had scrambled a navy frigate and helicopter after a passenger called emergency services when the ship was near Corfu. The ship continued on its own toward Italy.


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