Five die after tugboat sinks off southern Italy

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ROME (Reuters) – Five people died after a tugboat sank off the southern Italian coast while pulling a pontoon on a route between Italy and Albania, the coastguard said on Thursday.

The Franco P tugboat sent an alarm signal on Wednesday evening, while sailing some 50 nautical miles (92.6 km) off the city of Bari, an Italian coastguard statement said.

Four bodies have so far been recovered and another has been spotted at sea. The coastguard will transport the bodies back to Bari in south-eastern Italy, a spokesperson said.

The tug’s captain was saved by a Croatian vessel during rescue operations overnight, which took place in very rough seas, the statement said.

(Reporting by Angelo Amante, editing by Gavin Jones and Tomasz Janowski)

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