The Italian coast guard confirmed that more than 5,000 migrants have been saved from drowning off the coast of Libya in just two days.
An overcrowded boat carrying hundreds of migrants capsized on Wednesday as soon as it came across an Italian navy ship. The incident threatened the lives of people fleeing from the conflict in the Middle East. Seven people have reportedly died in the tragedy. The ABC stated that around 23 separate rescue missions were launched to save the lives of those in danger. On the first day, the number of people rescued was over 2,000, which increased to more than 5,000 on the second day.
There were coast guard boats and vessels provided by the European Union’s naval operation named EUNAVFOR Med and border agency Frontex that helped in making the rescue operation in the southern Mediterranean region quick and successful. NGO SOS Mediterranee also offered a boat along with two tug boats obtained from an offshore oil platform that assisted the mission, thereby saving so many lives from being drowned at sea.
Italian sailors captured some pictures from the Libya incident that showed people clinging to the railing of the ship. A few people were found tightly gripping the closest person to prevent from drowning.
The Daily Star reported that an Italian navy patrol boat named the Bettica was the first to notice the boat’s difficulty before it overturned. The navy ship launched lifeboats to rescue the people whose lives were in danger. Every coast guard and rescue tool was deployed in the operation to ensure more and more lives could be saved.
The International Organisation for Migration claimed that around 7,000 people died at sea trying to reach European borders in two years. During the same period in 2015, almost 3,700 people died while trying to cross the European border through the Mediterranean Sea.