At least two migrants have died and dozens are missing after two ships capsized near the Italian island of Lampedusa. The Italian Coast Guard said on Sunday that it had retrieved two bodies and rescued 57 people after the ship sank.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), about 28 people are reported missing at sea after the ship capsized in stormy weather on Saturday, while three people from another boat were among the survivors. have been reported missing. Both ironclad boats are believed to have left Sfax in Tunisia on Thursday.
Italian news agency ANSA reported that one ship had 48 people on board, while the other had 42 people. An investigation into the wreckage has been launched in Agrigento on the nearby Italian island of Sicily. More than 2,000 people have reached Lampedusa in the past few days after being rescued at sea by Italian patrol boats and NGO groups, as strong winds further complicated the situation around the island.
Agrigento police chief Emanuele Riciferi said human traffickers taking migrants and refugees out to sea would have known that the sea was forecast to be rough. He told the media, whoever allowed or forced them to go through this sea would be a man of shameless and criminal nature. He said, there is a forecast of rough seas for the next few days. Let’s hope they stop. He is sending them to die in this sea.
Fire brigades and alpine rescue teams were on Sunday ready to rescue around 20 people trapped on a rocky section of the beach at Lampedusa as bad weather continued. They have been there since late Friday night when their boat got stuck between rocks and sank due to strong winds.
The Red Cross has provided them with food, drinks, clothing and emergency thermal blankets, but the Coast Guard has been unable to rescue them at sea due to high waves. Media reports suggest that if the winds do not subside, rescuers may begin pulling victims off a 140-metre-high cliff.