(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The state-owned Kuwait Oil Tankers Company (KOTC) is taking part in massive ongoing rescue efforts of immigrants off the coasts of Italy, its CEO Sheikh Talal Al-Khaled Al-Sabah said on Sunday.
Oil tanker, Al-Salmi, was bound for Italy in the early hours of the day when it received an urgent distress call from Italian coastguards regarding illegal immigrants whose boats had capsized at sea, the company official told KUNA.
After receiving the call, the crew proceeded to immediately contact KOTC's umbrella company, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), which authorized the go ahead in the name of humanity and the protection of human life and in line with international maritime agreements and conventions in relation.
The vessel had to change its course in order to save the 225 people, described as "foreigners, who were later dropped off at Italian shores.
Most of the people rescued were women and children - one of whom was dead, others requiring critical medical attention.
The rescue efforts are expected to continue as the total number of those stranded is estimated at 624, he added, and KOTC is in continuous contact with Al-Salmi's crew on the efforts.
KOTC is also providing shelter, food and medical attention for the rescued individuals, reflecting Kuwait's outstanding commitment to international maritime laws and humanitarian efforts, the official underlined.