30 migrants dead and 200 rescued off Libyan coast says country’s navy


26 November, 2017


Libyan Red Crescent workers carry a bag containing a body of a migrant who died when a boat sank off Libya’s western coast CREDIT: REUTERS

More than 30 migrants died and 200 were rescued on Saturday after their boats foundered off Libya’s western coast, the Libyan navy said.

The coastguard conducted two rescue operations off the city of Garabulli, 60 kilometres (40 miles) east of Tripoli, spokesman Colonel Abu Ajila Abdelbarri said.

He added that patrols had found 31 bodies and 60 survivors from one boat, while all 140 passengers had survived in a second boat.

“When we arrived at the spot, we found an inflatable dinghy with several people clinging to part of it,” he said.

African migrants arrive at a naval base in Tripoli on November 25, 2017, after their rubber boat was rescued off the coast of Garabulli CREDIT: MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP

Libyan navy spokesman Ayoub Qassem told AFP that 18 women and three children were among the dead recovered from the sea, while 40 people were missing.

Migrants from Somalia, Ghana, Ethiopia, Nigeria and four from Pakistan were among those rescued.

Libyan patrol boat commander Nasser al-Ghammoudi said one of the vessels was three-quarters under water when the coastguard arrived.

“We looked for other survivors for more than five hours,” he said. “We were able to rescue one woman after we heard her shouts.”

Migrants arrive at a naval base after they were rescued by Libyan coastal guards in Tripoli, Libya CREDIT: ISMAIL ZITOUNY/REUTERS

A French NGO, SOS Mediterranee, said later Saturday that it had rescued more than 400 people from a stricken wooden boat in international waters further from the Libyan coast.

Other rescue operations were ongoing on Saturday evening, the Italian coastguard told AFP.

Italy’s coastguard, which coordinates the rescue effort in international waters, reported that a total of 1,500 people had been saved on Thursday and Friday.

– Agence France-Presse (Published Date: 25 November, 2017)

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