Blue Sky M
Hundreds of migrants were packed onto the decks of Blue Sky M Reuters

The migrant ship left stranded off the southern coast of Italy is now under the control of the Italian coast guard.

Six coast guard officers have been airlifted to the cargo ship. The Ezadeen is believed to have set sail from Turkey.

The ship was being towed by an Icelandic vessel, which was on patrol in the area as part of the EU Frontex border control mission.

The 450 migrants were mostly children and pregnant women and are believed to be Syrian, according to Italian Coast Guard Commander Filippo Marini.

Rescue Pilot Francesco Pastore told Sky News: "The mission was very difficult due to the conditions."