Sixty migrants feared drowned crossing Mediterranean

SOS Mediterranee saays it rescued 25 people in a "very weak" condition in coordination with the Italian Coast Guard.

ROME (Reuters): As many as 60 people are feared to have drowned on a vessel carrying migrants across the Mediterranean from Libya to Italy or Malta, the operators of a charity rescue group said on Thursday.
SOS Mediterranee said it rescued 25 people in a “very weak” condition in coordination with the Italian Coast Guard on Wednesday and that two unconscious people were flown to Sicily by helicopter.
The central Mediterranean is one of the world’s deadliest migration routes. According to the U.N. migration agency (IOM), almost 2,500 migrants died or went missing attempting the crossing last year, and 226 since the start of 2024.
“The survivors departed from Zawiya, Libya, seven days before they were rescued,” SOS Mediterranee posted on the social media platform X.
“Their engine broke after three days, leaving their boat lost (and) adrift without water and food for days. Survivors report that at least 60 people perished on the way, including women and at least one child,” it added.
There was no immediate comment from the Italian Coastguard.
“Urgent action is needed to strengthen maritime patrols and prevent further tragedies,” it said on X.
In a post on X on Wednesday, the SOS Mediterranee said its Ocean Viking vessel had evacuated 25 people spotted using binoculars who were on a rubber boat drifting in the Libyan search and rescue area.
The charity said it picked up a further 113 people, including two children, from a wooden boat and 88 from a packed rubber dingy, in rescue operations on Wednesday and Thursday.

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