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Boat with five dead Albanians recovered near Italian coast

November 21, 1997

ROME (AP) _ The Italian coast guard recovered a dinghy with five dead Albanians aboard Friday and said as many as 12 others were feared lost at sea.

The five, including a child, presumably died from dehydration and exposure, said coast guard spokesman Cosimo Carbone. Ten Albanians were found alive on the small craft but were in serious condition.

The coast guard had searched for the craft since Wednesday, when Albanian authorities reported that a small boat filled with would-be immigrants left the port of Durazzo for the coast of Italy, 70 miles away.

Carbone said heavy rains and wind probably forced the boat off course.

The rubber craft was found in the Adriatic Sea 14 miles off the coast of Brindisi, at the heel of Italy’s boot.

Thousands of Albanians have reached Italian shores in recent years, leaving the chaos and economic misery of their homeland.

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