At least two migrants have died and approximately 20 others are missing after their ship sank in the Mediterranean Sea between Tunisia and Italy, as reported by German aid group ResQship to AFP on Sunday.
Stefan Seyfert from ResQship stated that the group’s ship, Nadir, rescued 22 individuals and brought them to the Italian island of Lampedusa.
The boat went down overnight from Saturday to Sunday. Those saved include both men, women, and children from Cameroon, Ivory Coast, and Mali, according to Ingo Werth, Nadir’s captain.
The boat’s crew also recovered the corpses of two men, among those saved was a pregnant woman. According to Seyfert, around 40 migrants were present on the boat when it departed from Sfax, Tunisia. He stated,
“We did everything we could to save more people but didn’t manage to,” and acknowledged the “good cooperation” with the Italian coastguard. According to the Italian news agency ANSA, nine women were among the survivors, while 18 of them are missing.
The migrants purportedly paid 3,000 Tunisian dinars (around $980) for passage on the vessel. ResQship informed Twitter earlier on Sunday that they arrived at the scene of the accident when the migrants had already been swimming for around two hours.
They stated that they had saved 22 people and retrieved two bodies. “This is an unspeakable tragedy that could and should have been prevented by a humanitarian approach to migration instead of barb-wiring the European borders,” the group remarked.
Thousands of migrants have arrived on Lampedusa in the previous few days, which is only around 150 kilometers (90 miles) from the Tunisian coast.
This is the most recent in a series of disasters in the Mediterranean Sea, where dozens of migrants attempting the crossing have drowned or had to be rescued from insufficient vessels.
They are increasingly becoming a jumping-off point for West Africans, Sudanese, and others trying to reach safety and better lives in Europe.
Italy has been complaining for a while about the number of migrants arriving on its land.
According to figures provided by the interior ministry, more than 14,000 migrants have arrived in Italy since the beginning of the year, compared to 5,300 during the same period in 2022 and 4,300 who arrived last year.