6 dead, 110 saved in Mediterranean migrant shipwreck
6 dead, 110 saved in Mediterranean migrant shipwreck
At least 74 migrants drown in Mediterranean off Libyan coast, UN says
14 November, 2020, 22:19
The boat was carrying over 120 migrants, including women and children, when it capsized off the coast of the Libyan port of al-Khums, said the International Organization for Migration.
The infant, from the West African nation of Guinea, was pulled from the sea off the coast of Libya but later died on a rescue boat after going into cardiac arrest, said the Spanish refugee rescue charity Proactiva Open Arms.
"The nonprofit organization Open Arms that has saved hundreds of migrants lately called the information" excruciating".
"This is a massacre at Europe's borders", said a spokesperson for Alarm Phone, a hotline for migrant boats in distress.
The statement said in the past two days, at least 19 people, including two children, drowned after two boats capsized in the same area of the Mediterranean, while the vessel "Open Arms", which is the only NGO ship now operating on the route, rescued more than 200 in three separate operations.
The Libyan coastguard, along with the help of fishermen, rescued 47 people.
The organization said five vessels they support with medical teams have been detained in recent months, including the Sea-Watch 4 vessel, which has been detained since September 19 at a port in Palermo, Sicily. That had prompted government agencies to undertake an immediate rescue operation - without any reaction, as is usually the case.
According to the IOM, at least 20,000 people have died in those waters since 2014.
"They saw loved ones disappear beneath the waves, dying in front of their eyes". Traumatised survivors sat in shock on the shore, while others huddled under blankets as aid workers distributed food parcels.
"We recovered 113 people, including seven women and four children, and five lifeless bodies".
"Staff in the region reported that more bodies continued to wash ashore overnight", IOM spokeswoman Safa Msehli told a briefing in Geneva.
At least 900 people have drowned in the Mediterranean while trying to reach Europe in 2020 alone, according to IOM.
While many have drowned at sea, thousands have been intercepted by the Libyan coast guard, which has been backed by Italy and the European Union, and returned to Libya.
On Wednesday, six people died after the dinghy in which they were travelling with more than 100 migrants capsized off Libya's coast. Thousands more have been stopped at sea and returned to Libya where they are often vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.
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