By Sami Zaptia.
London, 3 November 2016:
At least 239 migrants are missing as a result of two separate shipwrecks off the Libyan coast, UNHCR spokeswoman Carlotta Sami said today. The report has been confirmed by two survivors who were rescued and are now on the Sicilian island of Lampedusa. The missing includes at least 6 children, Sami said.
The Italian Coast Guard reported that there were a total of seven coordinated search and rescue operations in the Central Mediterranean (off the coast of Libya) today involving them, Frontex and a number of NGOs rescuing about 766 migrants.
One of those NGOs, Maltese-based MOAS, reported that it had rescued a total of 605 migrants from five ‘’unseaworthy vessels’’. The 139 people on board its Phoenix had told its crew that they had left Sabratha, Libya, at 10pm Wednesday and that they had been adrift at sea for seven hours. Phoenix’ sister ship Responder had rescued 178 from 2 drifting vessels.
These latest deaths bring the total lives lost to 4,220 so far in 2016, Leonard Doyle of UN Migration said.
Meanwhile, Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported that the Gambian women’s national football team goalkeeper was confirmed by Gambian authorities to be amongst those who had drowned last month off the Libyan Mediterranean coast.