Another batch of African migrants; this time forty-one have lost their lives in a shipwreck off Lampedusa island, Italy, according to reports.
The only survivors, three men and a woman explained that they and the deceased had begun sailed from Sfax in Tunisia and their vessel had sunk on their way.
They were taken to Lampedusa on Wednesday morning by the Italian Coast Guard after first being rescued by a cargo ship. The four survivors are originally from the Ivory Coast and Guinea.
According to the survivors’ narration to the Coast Guard, their total count, including 3 children was 45 when they left Sfax on Thursday 10am. They recounted that just a few hours in, a large wave turned the boat over and they were all thrown in the sea.
Just 15 of the 45 wore a life jacket but still died, the survivors narrated. As at the last check, no bodies or the vessel have been found.
This unfortunate incident, happens just after another shipwrecks off the Italian island on Saturday where a woman and her child died, and the other 57 migrants were fortunately rescued. In Tunisia, 11 bodies had been found from another shipwreck near Sfax on Saturday, 44 migrants are still unaccounted for in that incident.
The waters in the Strait of Sicily have been extremely rough in recent days, making it hard for Italian Coast Guard boats to reach stranded migrants.
Sicily, the Italian island is closer to Africa than the mainland, which is why it is a destination for migrant smuggling and has become overcrowded.
Just this year, 93,700 migrants have come in via the same route compared to 44,700 in the same period of 2022. Data according to interior ministry
(Evening Standard Uk)