Almost 50 migrants feared drowned in the Mediterranean

TMP – 23/07/2017

According to Spanish coastguards, 49 migrants are feared to have drowned after their rubber boat sank near Spain’s Alboran Island.

Only three migrants were rescued from the boat, which is believed to have left from Morocco with 52 people on board.

The boat was spotted around 50km southwest of Spain’s Alboran Island, which lies in the western part of the Mediterranean. When asked if the 49 migrants left unaccounted for had drowned, a spokeswoman for the Spanish coastguards told AFP news agency: “We suppose.”

The three rescued men, aged 17 to 25 and from sub-Saharan Africa, explained that the rubber boat had been drifting for several days after leaving the northern coast of Morocco before it started to sink.

So far, 60 migrants have died trying to cross the waters from North Africa to Spain since January 2017, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

IOM data also shows that more than 2,247 people are missing or have died after attempting to cross the Mediterranean from Spain, Italy or Greece this year.