Six Bulgarian nationals have been rescued from the Norman Atlantic ferryboat in the Adriatic Sea, Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said. The Italian-flagged ferry, sailing from the Greek port of Patras to the Italian port of Ancona, caught fire over the weekend and sparked an international rescue operation.
Two Bulgarians had been rescued late on December 28 and two more were evacuated on the morning of December 29, having been taken on board a Maltese ship participating in the rescue operation, the ministry said in a statement. Later, the ministry said that two more Bulgarians were taken to an Italian military ship.
Earlier on December 28, the ministry said that Norman Atlantic’s passenger manifest listed nine Bulgarian nationals on board. Initial reports said one person died, but four more bodies were found on December 29, taking the total death toll to five.
Rescue operations are ongoing, having continued through the night despite the turbulent weather, with several ships receiving passengers who are being airlifted by Italian and Greek helicopters, reports said. Norman Atlantic is expected to be tugged to a nearby Italian port, but bad weather was complicating rescue efforts, the ministry said.
(Photo of Norman Atlantic rescue efforts by Italy’s Marina Militare, marina.difesa.it)