Bodies of migrants wash ashore after deadly shipwreck in Italy

According to the interior ministry, nearly 14,000 migrants have arrived in Italy by sea so far this year, up from 5,200 over the same period last year. (Alessandro SERRANO / AFP)

Over 62 migrants including minors drown while dozens remain missing after wooden boat broke up and sank off the coast of Italy’s southern Calabria.

Italy’s coastguard continues to search the sea and beaches for bodies following a shipwreck off Calabria, as the death toll rose to 62 putting the new government’s migrant policy under scrutiny.

The overloaded wooden boat broke up and sank early on Sunday in stormy seas off Italy’s southern coast, with bodies, shoes and debris washing up along a long stretch of shoreline.

The death toll rose on Monday to 62, according to a coast guard official, adding that that number looked likely to increase.

Sergio di Dato, head of the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) team offering psychological support to the survivors, said there were cases of children orphaned in the disaster.

“One Afghan 12-year-old boy lost his entire family, all nine of them – four siblings, his parents and other very close relatives,” he told journalists.

Firefighters from the town of Cutro readied a speed boat to head out on a fresh search of the area as helicopters flew overhead.

At Le Castella, where a 15th century fortress dominates the shoreline, the coastguard recovering the body of a woman who looked to be in her early 20s.

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