Dozens of migrants missing off Tunisia’s coast after boat capsized | CBC News


Rescue groups searched Wednesday for dozens of individuals reported lacking after a ship carrying migrants from Libya to Europe capsized off Tunisia’s coast.

The Worldwide Group for Migration (IOM) mentioned 30 folks had been rescued and 75 folks had been unaccounted for after the boat sank off the town of Sfax in southern Tunisia. One physique has been recovered, authorities mentioned.

Mourad Turki, a Sfax courts spokesperson, advised The Related Press that the folks rescued had been between the ages of 18 and 40 and of assorted nationalities, together with Bangladeshi, Egyptian, Moroccan and Cameroonian.

The quantity believed to be lacking was provisional and will enhance, Turki mentioned. The search continued Wednesday, in response to IOM spokesperson Esma Rihane.

The boat reportedly departed from Zuwara in north Libya on Sunday evening. Based on the Sfax Nationwide Guard, the vessel ran aground 10 kilometres from the island of Kerkennah, off Tunisia’s coast, though it was unclear precisely when.

Zuwara serves as a departure level for migrants making an attempt to succeed in southern Europe by sea. Final July, a ship carrying 127 migrants from Zuwara sank off Zarzis, a port in southern Tunisia, leaving 43 folks lacking.

In a mission separate from the Tunisian navy’s ongoing search, the non-governmental group Open Arms carried out a rescue operation late Tuesday in an space off the coast of Tunisia.

Dramatic pictures and movies from the Spanish maritime rescue group confirmed dozens of individuals within the water and clinging to the facet of an upturned boat.

Head of mission Gerard Canals mentioned the group was alerted of a doable vessel in misery late Tuesday and situated the boat after 4 hours of navigation.

‘It was overcrowded’

“A picket boat with over 100 folks was left adrift very near the Tunisian territorial waters …It was overcrowded” Canals mentioned. “In the course of the rescue operation, the picket boat capsized however we managed to take these 110 folks on board on completely different life rafts that we deployed through the evening.”

The Open Arms rescue ship is on the lookout for a protected port to disembark, he mentioned.

“We want the authorities to behave instantly,” Canals mentioned. “The climate will deteriorate very quickly and we (shouldn’t have sufficient) house, meals or water to supply the folks on board.”

The central Mediterranean, which connects Libya and different North African international locations to Italy and Malta, is the world’s most harmful migration route, in response to the IOM.

The UN company estimates that greater than 1,500 folks died or went lacking in that a part of the ocean in 2021 and greater than 500 have perished to this point this 12 months.

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