migrant boat sinks in mediterranean near italy’s lampedusa, at least 41 feared dead
In another shipwreck, a precarious metal boat carrying 45 migrants, including three children, recently sank in rough seas off Lampedusa, Italy’s southernmost point, according to media reports. At least 41 people are feared to have died in the incident.
Four survivors were rescued Wednesday by a Maltese bulk carrier and eventually transferred to a patrol boat from the Italian coastguard. They said they were on a vessel that had set off for Italy’s shores from Tunisia and started to take on water as soon as they reached the open sea.
Certainly Not The First Migrant Shipwreck This Year
“Suddenly we were overwhelmed by a giant wave,” one survivor told the coastguard. All the passengers ended up in the rough seas for hours. They are believed to be from sub-Saharan Africa. Nevertheless, it certainly isn’t the first migrant boat incident this year.
In a separate sinking on Sunday, the Italian coastguard recovered the bodies of a toddler and a woman after a couple of incidents overnight off the island of Lampedusa, in the central Mediterranean. 57 people were rescued, while dozens of others were believed to be still missing.
The vessels had departed from Tunisia and started sinking in rough seas, Italian media reported, citing accounts from survivors. While the first boat had 42 people onboard, of whom 14 were rescued, the second one had 48 onboard, with 43 passengers eventually rescued.
EU – Tunisia Deal On Migration In Focus
Over 78,000 people have reached Italy after crossing by boat from Africa since the beginning of the year, according to the interior ministry. It seems this year, the country has already recorded more than double the number of migrant arrivals during the same period in 2022.
At least 42,700 asylum seekers had set off for Europe from Tunisia, which has become the principal departure hub for migrants, surpassing neighbouring Libya. In an effort to stem irregular migration, the EU signed a $1.1 billion deal with Tunisia last month.
The African country has been accused of removing scores of migrants to a desolate place along the border with Libya. Border guards and aid workers of Libya said they had rescued several people they said had been left in precarious conditions in the desert by Tunisian authorities.