Italian coastguard says nine migrants dead after boat capsizes off Lampedusa

12 April 2024, 08:14

Migration Italy
Migration Italy. Picture: PA

The victims were a six-month-old child and eight men, the UN refugee agency said.

The Italian coast guard rescued 22 people and recovered nine bodies after a smugglers’ boat capsized in a storm about 30 miles south of the island of Lampedusa, authorities said.

Survivors indicated that the steel-bottom boat had departed from Sfax, Tunisia, overnight on Sunday carrying 46 people from Guinea, Burkina Faso, Mali and the Ivory Coast.

The boat capsized on Wednesday morning as waves reached up to five metres and “the group became very agitated when the engine broke down and they were left adrift”, the UN refugee agency said.

The victims were a six-month-old child and eight men, UNHCR said.

Six of the survivors were treated for severe hypothermia and dehydration, while two remain hospitalised.

After the rescue in rough seas with waves reaching more than two and a half metres, the Coast Guard said it continued air surveillance of the area, which is under Malta’s search-and-rescue area.

Attempts to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Africa to Europe generally increase as summer approaches, raising concerns about more shipwrecks, especially as Italian port rules are restricting operations of charity rescue boats.

Italy’s far-right-led government has recently been instructing charity boats to go to northern ports after each rescue, reducing their operations, and has been impounding boats that it says violates its rules.

“With the arrival of the summer season, we can expect more incidents at sea, as more and more people are leaving with completely unseaworthy metal boats, as we are seeing in these weeks,” said Federico Fossi, a spokesman for the UNHCR in Italy.

The International Organisation for Migration put the number of migrants missing along the deadly central Mediterranean route from northern Africa to Italy at 385 so far this year and 23,109 since they launched the missing migrants project in 2014.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Garry Conille

Transitional council in Haiti selects new PM for country under siege by gangs

Former US pesident Donald Trump sits with lawyers while he attends his trial at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City

Trump trial: Prosecutor focuses on ‘cover-up’ while defence attacks key witness

Smoke billows after an explosion in the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel

Israeli strikes continue near Gaza’s Rafah

Aid pier

US-built aid pier in Gaza will need to be removed after damage from rough seas

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

Zelensky expected in Normandy for D-Day commemorations, says Macron

Former US president Donald Trump speaks to members of the media upon arriving at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York

Key witness lied, Donald Trump’s lawyer tells jurors during closing arguments

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

Zelensky secures further promise of military aid as he continues EU tour

US Army soldiers assigned to the 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary), US Navy sailors assigned to Amphibious Construction Battalion 1, and Israel Defence Forces placing the Trident Pier on the

Gaza aid via temporary pier suspended after rough seas cause damage – officials

Top NFL player accused of sexual assault by two flight attendants aboard London-bound flight

Top NFL player accused of sexual assault by two flight attendants aboard London-bound flight

Producer Albert S Ruddy appears backstage after his film Million Dollar Baby won best picture at the 77th Academy Awards on February 27 2005 in Los Angeles

Albert Ruddy, Oscar-winning producer of The Godfather, dies aged 94

Sam Altman

OpenAI boss Sam Altman joins Giving Pledge

Robert De Niro speaks to reporters in support of President Joe Biden across the street from former president Donald Trump’s criminal trial in New York

Biden campaign sends De Niro to Trump trial to put focus on 2021 Capitol attack

A collapsed building is fenced off in Palma de Majorca, Spain

Majorca building involved in fatal collapse ‘lacked proper authorisation’

'It’s enthralling to me in a sort of perverse way': Benedict Cumberbatch on playing Dominic Cummings

Benedict Cumberbatch: Playing unravelling characters like Dominic Cummings is 'enthralling in a perverse way'

Virgin Australia plane tail

Passenger who 'went bananas' and 'ran through plane naked before knocking over attendant' is arrested

OpenAI logo

OpenAI forms safety committee as it starts training latest AI model