Italy Rescues Two Migrant Boats

Photo: Filippo Monteforte/Getty Images

It was a rough start to the new year for hundreds of migrants trapped aboard two distressed ships this week. The passengers — from countries in the Middle East and Africa, including many Syrian migrants — are part of an immigrant surge to Europe in recent years, most of whom risk their lives to cross the Mediterranean by boat, illegally. Many die in the process. Recently, though, smugglers have begun abandoning boats mid-sail, as happened with the two found this week.