A boatload of tourists has been stranded at the edge of the Mediterranean Sea on a perilous crossing from Italy to Greece and was left stranded by the current.
A group of about 20 people, including two children, spent about a week at sea, waiting for the vessel to leave, as a rescue operation was carried out.
The boat was rescued after a rescue ship was dispatched from Italy.
“The current was strong.
People were struggling to get onto the boat and we could hear the wind howling, but there was no one on the boat,” said Andrea Zavarelli, one of the group.
The boat has now been abandoned by the owners.
“We went from the port of Piraeus to the port on the other side of the island of Sardinia, and this is the last time I will ever see them,” he said.
“It’s hard for me to even think about going on holiday again, especially in the cold, without a life jacket.”
The rescue operation for the stranded tourists has cost €1.7m (£1.3m), according to the Italian coastguard.
“As soon as we reached the coast, we started an operation to rescue the people who were stranded at about 20km (12 miles) of the coast of Sardinian territory, which is at the border with Italy,” said a spokesman for the Italian police.
“During the operation, two of the people were rescued and a fourth person was transported to hospital, where he was also taken to the hospital in a serious condition.”
Italy has not been able to reach the group due to bad weather conditions and is still searching for the missing people.