The Italian coastguard has managed to take control of a vessel carrying hundreds of migrants, which had been abandoned by its crew.
The crew left the ship in rough seas in the Mediterranean off Italy’s south coast, in the second such incident in three days.
Three coastguards managed to take control of the vessel, the Sierra Leone-flagged Ezadeen, after landing on it by helicopter.
They will take it to an Italian port.
The cargo ship had been drifting powerless in rough seas about 40 nautical miles from Italy’s southern coast with as many as 450 people on board.
“We know that it left from a Turkish port and was abandoned by its crew,” coastguard spokesman Filippo Marini said in an interview with SkyTG24 television.
“When we hailed the ship to ask about its status, a migrant woman responded, saying: ‘We are alone and we have no one to help us’.”
It had been put on a collision course for the Italian coast but ran out of fuel, he said.
The nationality of the migrants is not yet known, a coastguard spokesman said, but there are women and children on board.
On Wednesday, about 900 migrants, mostly Syrian refugees, arrived in Italy after they were apparently abandoned by their ship’s crew.
The coastguard also boarded that vessel and took over navigation.