Hundreds of migrants trying to reach Europe via the Mediterranean are feared dead after their fishing boat sank some fifteen miles off Libyan coast Wednesday.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported that rescuers, led by the Italian Coast Guard, saved 400 people and pulled 25 bodies from the water so far. Around 175 people are still missing.
The Irish Navy ship LE Niamh was the first to arrive at the scene after the distress signal from the fishing boat was picked up in Sicily. The boat reportedly capsized as the migrants flocked to one side of the boat toward’s the LE Niamh’s approaching boats.
Seven ships and several helicopters have been deployed for the missing people. Martin Xuereb of the Malta-based Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) said that it was unlikely that any more survivors would be found.
This latest tragedy brings the total number of people who have died trying to make this perilous crossing this year to over 2,000.
World Maritime News Staff