100 feared dead in Med after migrant boat capsize
ROMEAround 100 people were missing, feared drowned, in the Mediterranean on Nov. 15 after a migrant dinghy capsized off Libya, according to rescue teams frantically searching for survivors in darkness and rough seas.
“The crews are searching for survivors in the water and recovering dead bodies,” it added in a tweet, according to AFP.
The survivors and four recovered corpses were transferred from the tanker to the Acquarius, a boat operated by another charity group, SOS Mediterranee.
A survivor told one of that organization’s staff that the dinghy had begun to sink at 6.00 a.m., four hours before the tanker arrived.
“We were 122 on the boat, no children under 15, but there were 10 women travelling with us and only one survived,” the survivor was quoted as saying.
“We waited in the water, taking any floating thing to remain afloat, but most of the people drowned, including my little brother. He was 15.
“At 10 the tanker came and rescued us. I want to call home to tell them that my brother died.”
Attempts to find any survivors were continuing but were being hampered by very rough conditions and the chances of finding anyone alive appeared slim.
The latest tragedy in the Mediterranean came the day after another incident in which it is feared dozens may have drowned after the sinking of another dinghy, from which there were only 15 survivors.
U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) officials said Nov. 15 that dozens of people likely perished before a merchant ship reached that dinghy, which was of a type that normally have had 100-150 passengers packed on board.
The survivors were Nov. 15 onboard Italian Coast Guard ship the Diciotti en route for the Sicilian port of Catania.
Exactly how many people died will not be known until it arrives but it would be unusual for traffickers to set sail from Libya with as few as 15 people onboard.
The coastguard said a total of 298 people were rescued in three operations on Nov. 15, taking the total rescued since Nov. 12 to 2,600.