(Sky News) Mediterranean's Worst Migrant Boat Disasters

From: Biniam Tekle <biniamt_at_dehai.org_at_dehai.org>
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 2015 12:36:54 -0400


 Mediterranean's Worst Migrant Boat Disasters

Many flee conflict and poverty in search of a better life but vessels
are often packed and can overturn with deadly consequences.

16:55, UK, Sunday 19 April 2015

These are some of the migrants who survived the trip

Hundreds of migrants are feared drowned off the Libyan coast after
their boat capsized while apparently making its way to Italy.

The sinking off the Italian island of Lampedusa could be the
Mediterranean's deadliest known migrant sea disaster.

Many flee conflict, persecution and poverty in countries such as
Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and Eritrea with the help of people
smugglers to make the dangerous sea journey in search of a better life
in Europe.

But vessels are often packed and can overturn with deadly
consequences. Migrants can also die of thirst or exposure.

So far this year, at least 900 have died attempting the trip as
vessels capsized - and over the past decade thousands have lost their

Some of the deadliest incidents, based on bodies recovered or survivor
accounts, include:

15 April, 2015: Christian survivors from a boat of African migrants
arriving in Palermo, Sicily, tell Italian authorities that Muslim
passengers threw 12 migrants overboard to their deaths when fighting
broke out on board.

12 April, 2015: Nine confirmed dead after boat capsizes off Libya.
Some of the 144 survivors tell aid workers that about 400 aboard

8-9 February, 2015: At least 29 die and 300 people reported missing
after four boats become waterlogged in the frigid sea after leaving

14 September, 2014: Libyan navy reports 26 rescued from a boat
carrying 250 migrants off Libyan coast. About 200 missing and presumed

10 September, 2014: Some 500 Syrians, Palestinians, Egyptians and
Sudanese drown after their boat is rammed by another boat of human
traffickers off Malta.

6 February, 2014: At least 15 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa die
while swimming from Moroccan coast as they try to reach Spanish
enclave of Ceuta. Police fire rubber bullets at the swimmers to force
them back to Morocco.

20 January, 2014: Twelve people, including nine children, drown when
boat overturns near Greek island of Farmakonis.

3 October, 2013: Some 366 people die, 155 survive after shipwreck off Lampedusa.

10 August, 2013: Six migrants drown, 94 rescued some 15 meters (50
feet) off a crowded swimming beach in Catania, Sicily.

14-15 December, 2012: At least 21 people die, six missing after boat
sinks off Greek island of Lesbos.

10 July, 2012: A motorised rubber dinghy deflates between Libya and
tiny Sicilian island of Lampedusa; 54 die.

2 June, 2011: At least 270 missing from boat with 700 aboard sinks off
Tunisian coast.

6 May, 2011: Boat carrying more than 600 migrants is shipwrecked off
Libyan coast. Hundreds reported missing.

12 May, 2008: 50 dead off Sicily, including 47 who died aboard after
suffering from exposure.

20 October, 2003: At least 70 dead in waters off Sicily.

20 June, 2003: 50 corpses found, 160 migrants missing, 41 survivors in
a shipwreck off Tunisia.

Christmas 1996: 300 believed drowned in the waters between Malta and Sicily.
Received on Sun Apr 19 2015 - 12:37:33 EDT

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