Nine dead and a hundred immigrants missing. “I want to call in Guinea to tell them that my brother is dead” said a rescued survivor on November 16th, 2016
Overloaded, deflated or overturned inflatables: a series of dramas Nine dead and more than a hundred missing on Monday and Tuesday off Libya, rescuers said on Tuesday. Rescue operations were underway on Tuesday night. Since Saturday, the Italian Coast Guard has coordinated the rescue of more than 2,600 migrants off Libya, confirming the high rate of departures despite the deterioration of navigation conditions. Other rescue operations were still under way on Tuesday evening. On Tuesday at dawn, “an inflatable dinghy sank. The 23 survivors are on board the oil tanker Maersk Erin. About a hundred people are missing. The teams are looking for survivors in the water and found dead bodies “, announced on Twitter the German NGO Jugend Rettet. Found waiting in the water, according to the testimony of a Guinean survivor after his transfer in the afternoon to the ship Aquarius of SOS Méditerranée and Médecins sans frontières, the canoe capsized at 6:00 am and the tanker arrived only ‘At 10:00. “We were 122 on board, no children under 15, but there were ten women who were travelling with us and only one survived. We waited in the water, hanging on to everything that could float, but most people drowned, including my little brother, he was 15 years old, “said the survivor, Spokesman for SOS Méditerranée. “I want to call in Guinea to tell my family that my brother is dead,” he added. Uncertain results The Aquarius team reported four deaths, which were transferred to the ship’s cold room. The day before, a freighter diverted by the Italian coastguard to the aid of a deflated canoe had rescued fifteen survivors, but it will be necessary to wait for their testimony on their arrival in Italy – scheduled on Wednesday morning in Catania (Sicily) – to get an idea of the Number of missing people.
Usually, the smugglers gather between 120 and 140 people, sometimes even more, on these makeshift boats that take water from the first waves. Difficult conditions The Aquarius also intervened directly on a canoe filled with water and partly deflated, rescuing 114 migrants, including three children and 21 minors, but without being able to do anything for five people found dead on board and for another missing range. On the other hand, the rescuers of Aquarius succeeded this same day to avoid this fate to a young Cameroonian of about ten years, found head in the water after inhaling smokes of fuel. Unconscious for two hours, he was evacuated by helicopter to the hospital on the Italian island of Lampedusa, where he was on Tuesday in a stable state. “It was a difficult day for the entire medical team, we had to bring emergency cares to a lot of people in a critical situation,” MSF spokesperson Sarah Giles said on Tuesday morning. Then they saw 129 migrants arriving on the deck of the Aquarius, including 47 miners, rescued by another canoe in the afternoon. Many survivors were traumatized and in tears. Some were hypothermic or suffered severe burns due to the mixture of fuel and seawater, reported SOS Méditerranée. “No one should be subject to such conditions,” said Mathias Menge, SOS Méditerranée rescue officer, in a statement, recalling “the urgent need to maintain a search and rescue device during the winter”. Since 1
January, Italy has seen about 167,000 people arrive on its coasts, according to the Ministry of the Interior. The figure had already exceeded 153,000 last year and is approaching the 170,000 of 2014. According to the UN, at least 4,271 people died or disappeared this year while attempting the crossing.
Mamadou DIAN Donghol Diallo