0 C
Lagos, NG
27th January 2023

13 people dead as a migrant boat capsized off Lampedusa Island

13 reportedly dead as a migrant boat capsized off Lampedusa Island
13 reportedly dead as a migrant boat capsized off Lampedusa Island

No less than 13 people have been reported dead when an overloaded migrant boat capsized near the island of Lampedusa as they were about to be rescued, the Italian coast guard said Monday. Twenty-two people were rescued from the sea and taken to land, according to Associated Press.

The report said the smugglers’ boat overturned as a patrol boat was preparing to take migrants on board in rough seas about six miles (10 kilometres) off Lampedusa just after midnight, the coast guard said in a statement.

Twenty-two migrants were rescued from the sea, and nine bodies were recovered, two immediately, and 11 during a subsequent search operation. The coast guard said all of the recovered bodies were of women.

Italian coast guard helicopters and vessels were searching for more of the missing.

Doctors Without Borders says the Ocean Viking ship it operates has been asked by Italian authorities to join the operation.

Initial reports by authorities in Sicily who received the distress call put the number of migrants on board at around 50. Non-governmental organizations say as many as 30 migrants, including eight children, could be missing from the smuggler’s boat, which had departed Tunisia.

The coast guard had no additional information on how many might be missing.

The U.N. refugee agency said the deadly shipwreck “highlights once again that urgent action is needed to address the situation on the Mediterranean.”

UNHCR spokesman Charlie Yaxley in Geneva called for the European Union to resume its search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean Sea, where more than 1,000 migrants have died so far this year, most of them on the dangerous crossing from Libya.

In the absence of an EU search and rescue operation, the job of rescuing migrants has largely been left to humanitarian rescue ships, which both Italy and Malta have consistently refused to allow into port.

Meanwhile, Spanish aid group Open Arms said Monday it rescued 44 people, including one toddler and a months-old baby, on a wooden boat trying to reach European shores.

Gerard Canals, chief of mission of the Open Arms rescue boat, said the boat was found late Sunday in Malta’s rescue zone, about 50 miles (80 kilometres) from the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Canals said that Malta’s rescue coordination center told the group not to offer the migrants any assistance, saying that Italy would probably send a patrol boat from Lampedusa, about an hour away. But Open Arms decided to rescue them anyway after waiting four or five hours because the boat wouldn’t have made it land without fuel and faced adverse weather.

“The surprise was to hear Malta’s instructions — who told us to let them continue to sail. We are talking about a vessel in distress, an overcrowded boat without any type of guarantee that it can reach anywhere, and evidently without enough fuel to reach the island of Lampedusa,” Camps said.

Malta’s government declined to comment.
In video remarks distributed by the aid group, Canals said that all 44 rescued, 38 men, four women, a 4-year-old boy, and a baby around 6 to 9 months old, were in good condition.


Related posts

Prince Harry And Meghan Suing Paparazzi For Invasion Of Privacy 


PHOTO: Arsenal Gets AC Milan As Europa Cup Round Of 16 Is Released


Bert Fields’ Memorial: Stars Say Goodbye To Go-To Lawyer


Nicki, Cardi B attack Tomi Lahren on her comment on 21 Savage


Billy Brown: ‘Alaskan Bush People’ Star Dies At 68


Chelsea To Offer 36-Year-Old Thiago Silva A New Contract Until 2022


Young Player Award: Bukayo Saka, Abraham Miss Shortlist 


Manchester Stabbing: UK police launch investigation


Show Host Nick Cannon Expecting Baby Number 10


See FIFA Women World Cup draws for France 2019


Leave a Comment