Nearly 1,000 migrants were rescued by the Italian coast guard on Wednesday when smugglers abandoned them and put their cargo ship on autopilot to crash into the coast. Most of the migrants are Syrians and include many children and pregnant women. Rescuers managed to board the ship and unblock the engine before steering it to safety. “It was a race against time,” said Commander Filippo Marini. “The ship was only a few [nautical] miles away from the coast of Puglia.” More than 100 migrants were treated for hypothermia. Smugglers often abandon the migrants at sea to avoid capture. As a result, more than 100,000 migrants have been rescued this year by Italy, but hundreds have drowned.