Migrants missing after boat sinks near Tripoli

TMP – 08/05/2017

At least 97 migrants, including 15 women and children, are presumed dead after a plastic dinghy carrying more than 100 people sank off the Libyan coast near Tripoli.

Libyan coast guard spokesman General Ayoub Qassem said that 23 people were rescued from the boat off the Gargaresh suburb on the western side of Tripoli.

The spokesman mentioned that the boat’s hull was destroyed, and the survivors were found clinging to a floating device. The boast sent a distress signal to authorities only 10 kilometers off the coast.

“What happened is that the base of the boat got wrecked and the boat had sunk,” Qassem said.

Survivors reported that the boat was carrying 120 migrants when it set off. According to Qassem those who have disappeared are assumed dead, but bad weather prevented the recovery of their bodies.

Smugglers often use unseaworthy boats to transport their human cargo across the Mediterranean. In 2016 alone, a record 5,000 deaths were reported on the route from Libya to Italy.