The Address | Benghazi – Libya
TRIPOLI – About 12 migrants are believed to be missing, feared drowned after a boat carrying more than 30 mostly sub-Saharan African migrants capsized off the Libyan coast on Saturday. 20 of those on the boat were rescued.
The boat carrying the sub-Saharan migrants bound for Europe capsized about “six nautical miles” off the coast of Libya, not far from the port of Zawiya, said a tweet in Italian from organization Alarm Phone.
The small wooden boat with “32 people on board,” continued the tweet, was found by fishermen who managed to save 20 of those on board. “12 more are missing,” the survivors told the organization.
“The Libyan coastguard was not present,” said Alarm Phone, even though it is “being paid by the EU to patrol the coasts to prevent people fleeing,” tweeted the distress hotline. Alarm Phone said that they had been told there were two children among those missing.
Earlier, the organization said that they had informed the coast guards in Malta and Italy of the accident and that both organizations “refused to offer any information” about whether or not they were searching for the missing.
Among those 20 rescued and “returned to Libya” according to the news agency AP were migrants from Chad, Nigeria, Sudan, and Egypt. Msehli told AP that the migrants on board “had no life jackets,” and that the boat had been in “poor condition,” before capsizing.
In March, the IOM said that deaths in the Mediterranean of those hoping to reach Europe were estimated to have “passed the grim milestone of 20,000 since 2014.”