After an overcrowded ship capsized in the Mediterranean, around 30 people are missing, 17 of them have been rescued. Humanitarian organizations warn that the rescue operation was too slow. The accident occurred in the Libyan zone, but Libya called on Rome to help.
The surviving victims were pulled from the sea by crew members of one of the cargo ships, the Italian Coast Guard announced in a press release. The accident happened in the search and rescue area, which is the responsibility of the Libyan Coast Guard.
The accident happened exactly two weeks after an overcrowded fishing boat sank off the coast of Calabria, in which at least 76 defectors drowned. Even this tragedy will undoubtedly trigger accusations about the inappropriate behavior of the rescuers, according to AFP.
The Italian Coast Guard cited the new accident as further evidence inactivity other Mediterranean countries in controlling the sea. Rome received the first message about the vessel about 160 kilometers northwest of the Libyan Benghazi from the humanitarian organization Alarm Phone on Sunday night. An NGO plane also reported that the overcrowded vessel was in “fear-inducing waves” SeaWatch.
The Italian Coast Guard has confirmed that it has also passed on information about the vessel to the Maltese and Libyan authorities. Although the accident happened in hers zonesLibya appealed to Rome for rescue.
The rescue operation started only on Sunday morning, when the cargo ship Froland arrived at the scene of the accident and then took the survivors to Malta. The search for the victims continues with the help of two planes of the European border protection agency Frontex, the Italian coast guard also announced.
Since the beginning of the year, 17,500 refugees and migrants have arrived in Italy across the Mediterranean Sea, which is significantly more than in the same period last year, when there were 5,976. According to the Italian Ministry of the Interior, most of the migrants come from the Ivory Coast, Guinea, Bangladesh and Tunisia.