German rescue group: 10 migrants found dead in Mediterranean

World Monday 17/June/2024 18:58 PM
By: DW
German rescue group: 10 migrants found dead in Mediterranean

Calabria: The bodies of 10 migrants have been discovered on a wooden boat by rescuers from German migrant rescue charity, ResQship.

The group said on Monday that rescuers had come to assist a wooden vessel in distress in the Mediterranean.

Rescuers managed to save 51 people, however, the bodies of 10 people were found below the flooded deck of the vessel.

The charity did not provide details about where or when this specific rescue operation took place, but according to the tracking service, it  was in the western Mediterranean, between the Tunisian port of Sfax and Italy's island of Lampedusa.

"A total of 61 people were on the wooden boat, which was full of water. Our crew was able to evacuate 51 people, two of whom were unconscious — they had to be cut free with an axe," it said.

"The 10 dead are in the flooded lower deck of the boat," the rescue charity added.

In a separate incident, Italy's coastguard said that searches were being conducted for people who had gone overboard off Calabria, with local reports citing survivors that upwards of 60 people were missing.

Reuters news agency quoted the coastguard as saying that search operations began on Sunday night for "possible missing persons, following the shipwreck of a sailing boat with migrants on board, presumably departing from Turkey."

Rescue efforts began after "a 'mayday' from a French pleasure boat sailing off the Italian coast," the coastguard was reported as having said.

It went on to say that one of the surviving 12 died after disembarking.

Libya and Tunisia are among the become major departure points for migrants attempting to get to Europe.

Migrants and asylum seekers attempt perilous journeys by sea in often rickety boats through the Mediterranean in the hopes of a better life.

According to the International Organiation for Migration (IOM), the central Mediterranean has become the world's deadliest migratory route, claiming more than 20,000 lives since 2014.