Over 700 migrants feared dead in this week’s Mediterranean shipwrecks


In this photo taken in the Mediterranean Sea, off the Libyan coast, Friday, rescuers tow migrants to the Italian Navy ship Vega, after the boat they were aboard sunk. (Raffaele Martino/Marina Militare via AP Photo)
In this photo taken in the Mediterranean Sea, off the Libyan coast, Friday, rescuers tow migrants to the Italian Navy ship Vega, after the boat they were aboard sunk. (Raffaele Martino/Marina Militare via AP Photo)
Over 700 migrants are feared dead in three Mediterranean Sea shipwrecks south of Italy in the last few days as they tried desperately to reach Europe in unseaworthy smuggling boats, the U.N. refugee agency said Sunday.

Carlotta Sami, spokeswoman for UNHCR, told The Associated Press by phone that an estimated 100 people are missing from a smugglers’ boat that capsized Wednesday. The Italian navy took horrific pictures of that capsizing even as it rushed to rescue all those thrown into the sea from the boat.

She said about 550 other migrants and refugees are missing from a smuggling boat that capsized Thursday morning after leaving the western Libyan port of Sabratha a day earlier. She says refugees who saw the boat sink told her agency that that boat, which was carrying about 670 people, didn’t have an engine and was being towed by another packed smuggling boat before it capsized. About 25 people from the capsized boat managed to reach the first boat and survive, 79 others were rescued by international patrol boats and 15 bodies were recovered.

Italian police have corroborated the account of the Thursday sinking in their interviews with survivors, but came up with different numbers. It was not immediately possible to reconcile the figures.

According to survivors, the second boat was carrying about 500 migrants when it starting taking on water after about eight hours of navigation. Efforts to empty the water – with a line of migrants passing a few 5-liter bailing cans – were insufficient and the boat was completely under water after an hour and a half, police said. At that point, the commander of the first smuggler’s boat ordered the tow rope to be cut to the sinking boat.

The migrants on the top deck jumped into the sea, while those below deck, estimated at 300, sank with the ship, police said. Of those who jumped into the sea, just 90 were rescued.

Survivors identified the commander of the boat with the working engine as a 28-year-old Sudanese man, who has been arrested, police said.

In a third shipwreck on Friday, Sami says 135 people were rescued, 45 bodies were recovered and an unknown number of people – many more, the migrants say – are missing.

Survivors are being taken to the Italian ports of Taranto and Pozzallo. Sami says the U.N. agency is trying to gather information with sensitivity considering that most of the new arrivals are either shipwreck survivors themselves or traumatized by what they saw.

Italy’s southern islands are the main destinations for countless numbers of smuggling boats launched from the shores of lawless Libya each week packed with people seeking jobs and safety in Europe. Hundreds of migrants drown each year attempting the dangerous Mediterranean Sea crossing.

Warmer waters and calmer weather of late have only increased the migrants’ attempts to reach Europe. Last week, over 4,000 migrants were rescued at sea in one day alone by an Italian-led rescue operation.

France24 /(AP)



16 responses to “Over 700 migrants feared dead in this week’s Mediterranean shipwrecks”

  1. Matrix Avatar

    This is what happens when some idiots believe what traffickers promise.

    Gaddafi, promised Berlusconi;
    “We do not need terrorists, we do not need homicide bomber.
    50+ million Muslims [in Europe] will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades.”


    1. 5thDrawer Avatar

      To Paraphrase: ‘Knowing what is happening in Lebanon can only come through direct contacts.’

  2. 5thDrawer Avatar

    The Sharks in the Mediterranean must be the fattest by now. Swimmers at beaches don’t need to worry too much about them, as long as they are being fed.
    US & Aussi Beaches, on the other hand … so consider … VACATION GREECE, and their islands.. :-))

  3. Rascal Avatar

    There is no place for them to go except for back to where they came from. Europe does not need (or want) any more migrants. They are incompatible with western civilization and bring more harm than good with them.

    1. Matrix Avatar

      They will never learn that we don’t need there’s conflict moved to our doorstep.

      Dreams shattered and pockets empty, Iraqi migrants return home from Europe.

      Mr Jawad spent thousands of dollars on the perilous journey, only to find himself on a flight back to Iraq five months later. His dream of a better life away from war and upheaval has been shattered by the realities of the refugee crisis.

      “Before I left for Europe, I thought it would be a very good life, but when I got there I changed my mind,” he says.

      (In einer Flüchtlingsunterkunft im deutschen Bottrop kochte Wut über das “schlechte Essen” hoch. Zwei junge Männer, die andere Flüchtlinge auf ihre Seite zogen, beschwerten sich, dass das Essen nicht schmecke und nicht “halal” sei. Außerdem werde Schweinefleisch serviert, wüteten die Männer.)
      In a refugee camp in Germany Bottrop boiling anger at the ” bad food ” high. Two young men who attracted other refugees to their side , complained that the food not taste and not ” halal ” is . In addition, pork will served , the men raged.

      > The migrants said they were angry they were being asked to sleep in a huge warehouse rather than in private apartments. Hamburg officials say there are no more vacant apartments in the city. “The city lied to us. We were shocked when we arrived here,” said Syrian refugee Awad Arbaakeat.

      > Seventy percent of migrants from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria who were offered apprenticeships fail to complete them. According to the director of the Munich Chamber of Trade, many young migrants believe apprenticeships are beneath them.
      I can go on and on.

      1. 5thDrawer Avatar

        Hopefully they go back and go on and on about how bad it is … especially that they need to learn to work.

        1. Meditheraces Avatar

          Half of the Syrian army have died since 2011I buSIS

          Evacuating Raqqa at US Order

          1. 5thDrawer Avatar

            It’s another theory .. and not all ‘The Vets’ agree with it. Considering the amount of ‘equipment’ left there for them to ‘pick up’ in Iraq, I hardly call 12 Hummers and some shell-firing machines a huge evacuation – unless bombing has wiped a lot of those out.

      2. Rascal Avatar

        Most European countries can attest to the negative influence that Islamic cultures bring with them. And I am being nice.
        All you have to do is look at a small portion of majority public opinion, or the regular news, in any country that has allowed this backwards culture through the door.
        It is hard not to feel pity for some, but unfortunately because they came as a group project, they may get painted with the same brush as some troublemakers and potential national security risks that have to be taken seriously these days.
        My advice to recent migrants is, to learn the local culture, obey the laws, and respect social norms of the country you were allowed in, and just remember, you need this country more than it needs you.

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar

          Well spoken, you Rascal. We could hope many listen. 😉
          There are many who have come before, and done so.

          1. Meditheraces Avatar

            One-sentence explanation for the rise of ISIS.

        2. Matrix Avatar

          Your advice to migrants is, to learn the local culture, obey the laws, and respect social norms of the country.

          The reality is totally different, they (the majority) refusing to remember and to respect social norms of the country they were allowed in, they take only advantage of rights without taking into account the obligations they have.

          Some even believe they do not need to learn the language because they live among their “own” compatriots….

          “SPDler über Clans: „Sozialhilfe beziehen, aber SLK fahren – da stimmt was nicht“ ” SPD politiker about clans; lifting social welfare, but they drive a SLK (Mercedes).

          „Beamte in Uniformen werden regelmäßig angegangen“ – Officer In uniforms regularly addressed.

          “Polizei und Staat werden nicht ernst genommen“, the police forces and the state are not taken seriously.

          The Berlin SPD politician Tom Schreiber.

          Drugs and arms trafficking, extortion, mass brawls – the deeds of Lebanese clans have startled investigators and experts.
          Critics say the country lacked it on Enlightenment will.

          After a mass brawl, the police must – as here in Berlin – to arrest several people.
          Whether violent clashes, drug and arms trafficking or extortion: Often Lebanese clans are involved in the incidents.

          Photo : dpa

          1. 5thDrawer Avatar

            Too many years of ‘Fiberals’ telling the world there are ‘rights’ of an individual in a democratic ‘west’, but not mentioning the responsibilities within the democracy which all have at the same time, necessary to maintain it, at the very least, or better, to improve it.
            Education is the key.

        3. Meditheraces Avatar

          They did’t choose to leave their countries

    2. Meditheraces Avatar

      Then Western civilisation.. Get the hell out of the middle East stop sending arms and money to Terrorists you destroyed these people’s countries

      How is it that Israel cries it is surrounded by enemy states when all the surrounding states Sisi, Qatar, KSA , Jordan Syria, protect them..

  4. 5thDrawer Avatar

    Lampudisa may not so bad after all … why go furthur north?

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