Migrant Raft Capsizes off Libyan Coast, Hundreds Feared Dead

A migrant raft has capsized off the Libyan coast with over 100 migrants and refugees feared dead on Thursday, a rescue group said.

European humanitarian organization SOS Méditerranée’s rescue team aboard the Ocean Viking reported they found no survivors when they arrived at the area. 

“Today, after hours of search, our worst fear has come true,’’ said Luisa Albera, Ocean Viking search and rescue coordinator. 

“The crew of the Ocean Viking had to witness the devastating aftermath of the shipwreck of a rubber boat north east of Tripoli. This boat had been reported in distress with around 130 people onboard on Wednesday morning,” Albera added. 

“In the absence of effective State-led coordination, three merchant vessels and the Ocean Viking cooperated to organise the search in extremely difficult sea conditions.”

One of the merchant ships found three bodies and the Ocean Viking crew found at least ten bodies in the vicinity of the wreck.

The group also reported that at least 40 people onboard were missing.

Spokesperson for the UN Migration Agency Flavio Di Giacomo wrote on Twitter, “The lack of an efficient patrolling system is undeniable and unacceptable. Things need to change.”

The group said more than 350 people have died in similar incidents this year, with states refusing to cooperate for search and rescue operations.

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