More than 100 migrants feared dead in shipwreck off Libya
Over 100 irregular migrants are feared to have drowned after a rubber boat with around 130 people capsized in rough seas North-East of the Libyan capital Tripoli, European humanitarian group SOS Mediterranee said.
“Today, after hours of search, our worst fear has come true. The crew of the Ocean Viking had to witness the devastating aftermath of the shipwreck of a rubber boat north east of Tripoli. This boat had been reported in distress with around 130 people onboard on Wednesday morning,” said Luisa Albera, search and rescue coordinator aboard Ocean Viking.
Albera noted that civil hotline Alarm Phone alerted them to a total of three boats in distress in international waters off Libya in the past 48 hours.
“Today, while we searched relentlessly without receiving support from the responsible maritime authorities, three dead bodies were spotted in the water by merchant ship MY ROSE. A Frontex airplane spotted the wreck of a rubber boat soon after. Since we arrived on scene today, we have not found any survivors while we could see at least ten bodies in the vicinity of the wreck,” she said.
According to International Organization for Migration (IOM), at least 450 irregular migrants have died in the Mediterranean so far this year while trying to reach Europe from Tunisia or Libya.