More than 400 refugees are feared to be have died while crossing the Mediterranean. They were trying to reach Italy from Egypt.
Reports from the Independent say that the refugees were fleeing Somalia, Ethiopia and Eretria to Italy in four boats. Most of the people in the boat were Somalis and a few of them were Eritreans and Ethiopians.
However, Egyptian and Greek authorities have not confirmed the report. Italian coast guards also said that they did not have any information about the incident.
A few days ago, Italian coastguards reported that 108 refugees were rescued and six bodies found in a semi-submerged rubber dingy. In yet another rescue operation, Italian authorities say that 38 people were saved off the eastern coast of Sicily.
According to BBC, the survivors are being held in Kalamata, Greece. The group said that around 240 migrants came from Tobruk, Lybia to Italy. When they reach the Mediterranean they were transferred into a large boat which was already packed with hundreds of refugees.
This year 180,000 people attempted to reach Europe and it is estimated that around 800 people lost their life in the process.
Last year a fishing boat packed with refugees sank in the Mediterranean and 800 of them were locked and trapped in the boat’s hold. The Italian government said that they would raise the shipwreck from the sea floor and would recover the bodies.
EU policy makers were criticised for their move to cut rescue missions in Mediterranean. The critics argued that the move is responsible for “massive loss of life.”
A few months earlier, Simon Lewis, an Australian life-saver returned home after a 10-day experience off Greek island of Lesbos. He talked about his first-hand experience of the migrant crisis. He was part of an international team who saved more than 500 asylum seekers in the Mediterranean. Lewis said that he witnessed around 31 drownings.
Lewis stated that during his stay around 2,000 refugees arrived at the place. He informed that these asylum seekers travelled in inflatable boats that ran on fake Chinese engines. The life jackets were also fake. He observed that these sea journeys are the lowest budget journeys and most dangerous ones. But for them, it was safer than staying on land.