Costa Pacifica answered a distress call on Friday and changed course to help with the rescue of about 120 people 60 miles south east of the coast of Calabria.
Costa Pacifica was joined by a Coast Guard high-speed patrol vessel for Calabria, which picked up a number of the asylum seekers. Costa Pacifica took on 37, providing them with food, water and shelter. The refugees are said to be in good health, according to Costa.
Costa Pacifica later resumed her original route and the 37 migrants were transferred to another Coast Guard vessel, which had reached the ship in the meantime.
The ship was en route from Piraeus (having left the Greek port at 1.30 p.m. on Thursday) to Civitavecchia, where it arrived on schedule on Saturday at 9.00 am.
Costa released the following statement: “The whole operation was carried out in complete safety, in accordance with Coast Guard instructions.”
It is the second rescue of Syrian refugees in as many weeks: Crown Princess helped in the rescue of some 100 Syrian refugees on September 18, including a pregnant woman who gave birth shortly after being medevacked to a hospital.
--by Adam Coulter, U.K. Editor