By Libya Herald reporters.
Tunis, 29 March 2017:
A 16 year-old Gambian boy appears to have been the only one of some 150 migrants to survive when their inflatable sank yesterday off the coast near Sabratha.
The boy was picked up by a Spanish frigate, transferred to an Italian vessel and landed in Lampedusa. Safely ashore, he said that those on the raft with him had included five children and several pregnant women.
All had drowned, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) told Reuters. The boy had survived by grabbing a fuel tank after the raft began to deflate and take water. He added that the migrants had been launched from Sabratha.
Yesterday, the Sabratha’s mayor said that the municipality had lost control over local fuel smugglers. He did not mention people smugglers, who appear to operate just as freely as those who are stealing subsidised fuel from under the noses of the authorities.