Wednesday, October 16 2013, 03:59 PM MDT
U.S. Navy Rescues 128 Men From Rough Mediterranean Waters
(CNN) -- A U.S. Navy crew rescued more than 100 men from a raft in rough water in the central Mediterranean on Wednesday, the service said.
The news release said 128 men ranged in age from 20 to 30 and were taken aboard the USS San Antonio, an amphibious transport dock ship.
A patrol aircraft from Malta spotted the raft being rocked by winds and waves. The San Antonio, which was 60 nautical miles away, answered a call from the Maltese government.
Its crew members used two 11-person boats to rescue the men in distress.
The Navy didn't say whether anyone was injured.
The Mediterranean has been the site of two deadly shipwrecks in recent weeks in which nearly 400 people have been killed.
Lampedusa, not far from Sicily and the closest Italian island to Africa, has become a destination for tens of thousands of refugees seeking to enter European Union countries -- and such fatal maritime accidents are all too common.
The 684-foot long San Antonio normally has a crew of 363 and is a part of the U.S. 6th Fleet.
By Steve Almasy
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