Migrant Death Toll Rises on Sea Route to Italy

Posted by Eric Haun
Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Migrants arriving on boats in southern Italy say 81 other people travelling with them have died or gone missing during their sea journeys from north Africa, the UN refugee agency said on Wednesday.

A group of 27 migrants picked up on Tuesday by Italy's naval rescue mission and brought to the town of Catania said there had been 75 other people on their boat, who were feared drowned, the UNHCR said in a statement.

Other migrants arriving in Sicily's Porto Empedocle said two of the party they travelled with had died and four had disappeared.

Authorities said the death toll on another packed fishing boat, discovered by an Italian rescue mission on Monday, had reached 45. The victims are believed to have suffocated.

All those found dead on Monday by the "Mare Nostrum" or "Our Sea" naval operation were men from Subsaharan Africa, the U.N. said.

The UNHCR says around 500 migrants have died so far this year in the Mediterranean. Many were fleeing war in Syria, forced conscription in Eritrea, or poverty in other countries in Africa.

Italy's navy tweeted that Mare Nostrum had rescued 236 migrants, including 35 women and 54 minors, on Wednesday.

Southern Italy has long attracted flows of seaborne migrants, and calm weather has contributed to a surge over recent weeks.

The number reaching Italy this year, many of whom pay a trafficker more than $1,000 for the trip, has already matched the annual record of 62,000 set in 2011 during the Arab Spring uprisings.

Mare Nostrum costs around 9 million euros ($12.3 million) a month, and Italy has called for more help from the European Union. The EU said on Monday it was making 4 million euros of emergency funding available to Italy.

The influx of migrants has revived support for Italy's anti-immigration Northern League party, whose leader Matteo Salvini called on Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Interior Minister Angelino Alfano to resign over the issue on Wednesday.

"The jackets of the people in power are covered with more and more blood, the cemeteries are filling up, the Italians' pockets are emptying," Salvini wrote on Facebook.

($1 = 0.7331 Euros)

(Reporting by Isla Binnie; additional reporting by Wladimiro Pantaleone in Sicily; editing by Andrew Roche)

 

Maritime Reporter April 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

News

Keel Laid for SEA-Vista’s First ECO Tanker

General Dynamics NASSCO informs it has hosted a keel laying ceremony for the first Jones Act ECO tanker currently under construction for SEA-Vista LLC, at the company's shipyard in San Diego.

Transocean Swings to Loss on Falling Revenue

Transocean Ltd., one of the world's top offshore drilling companies, reported a first-quarter loss on Wednesday as oil exploration and production companies rent

India, Iran Ink Port Deal Despite US Warning about Haste

India reached a deal on Wednesday to develop a strategic port in southeast Iran despite U.S. pressure not to rush into any such trade agreements before world powers

Coast Guard

Libya's Coast Guard Detains Almost 600 African Migrants

Libya's coast guard detained on Wednesday almost 600 illegal African migrants, among them pregnant women and 18 children, who had tried to sail to Europe on a fishing boat, a security official said.

Philippines, Japan Coast Guards in Anti-Piracy Drills

Philippine and Japanese coast guard teams staged an anti-piracy drill on Wednesday, featuring the storming of a cargo vessel after a mock hijack, in a show of maritime

Maersk Issues 'letter of undertaking' to Iran

Maersk Line said on Wednesday it had provided a letter of undertaking in relation to uncollected cargo that has led to the seizure by Iranian authorities of the vessel Maersk Tigris.

Maritime Safety

First Foreign Tanker Docks at Derna Since January Air Strike

Libya has persuaded a foreign shipper to send a tanker to the eastern port of Derna for the first time since a warplane belonging to the official government bombed

Suspected Migrant Smugglers Arrested

German police arrested three men on Wednesday suspected of belonging to an organised criminal group that smuggles people from Africa to the European Union.   Around 7,

IMCA Publishes Security, Emergency Guidance

The threat to maritime security from piracy, terrorism, criminal acts, and hostage and kidnapping threats continues to pose challenges to ships’ owners, masters and crew members,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1077 sec (9 req/sec)