At least seven Israelis are among those rescued from a luxury cruise ship that ran aground on an sandbar and is now sinking near the island of Giglio, off the western coast of Italy.
The Foreign Ministry confirmed late Saturday night that at least three couples and a young girl were aboard the vessel, but were saved.The ministry added in its statement that as of midnight it was unknown, however, whether there were any other Israelis aboard the ship. It is possible that Israelis with dual citizenship may have boarded using their foreign passports; in such cases it becomes more difficult for the Foreign Ministry to locate them.
Search teams are continuing their race against time in probing the waters of the Mediterranean for survivors of the wreck. There were 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew members aboard the cruise ship Costa Concordia, which set out to sea on Friday from the port of Civitavecchia, about 50 miles from Rome.
Three people have been confirmed dead, and 14 others were injured when the ship ran aground and flopped on its side, Italian Coast Guard authorities said. About 40 people are still listed as missing.
According to one report, the captain of the vessel has been taken into custody -- however, the report could not be confirmed.