41 dead in migrant shipwreck off Italian island


41 migrants died in one week in the central Mediterranean as a migrant boat suffered a shipwreck.  

Accounts from the four survivors who have just reached the Italian island of Lampedusa, situated in the south of the country, told rescuers that they were on a boat carrying 45 people, among them three children, according to Saudi news website Al Arabiya, August 8.

The survivors noted that the boat set off on Thursday morning (August 3) from Tunisia’s Sfax, a hot spot in the migration crisis, but capsized and sank after a few hours.

The survivors were from the sub-Saharan African region, three men and a woman from Ivory Coast and Guinea. They said that they were rescued by a cargo ship and then transferred onto an Italian coast guard vessel. 

The coast guard had also said they had recovered 57 survivors and two bodies, amid media reports that at least one of the sunken boats had set off from Sfax on August 3. 

 Tunisian authorities said on August 7 that they had recovered 11 bodies from a shipwreck near Sfax on the day before, with 44 migrants still missing from that sinking. 

According to the Italian interior ministry data updated last week, Italy has seen around 93,700 migrant arrivals by sea so far this year compared to 44,700 in the same period of 2022. 

Tunisia’s interior minister, Kamal Feki, said that the Tunisian coastguard has recovered 901 bodies of migrants who have drowned off the country’s coast from January 1 to July 20 2023. 

The majority of the migrants who have drowned across the Tunisian coast were from sub-Saharan Africa.

Italy’s coastguard is yet to comment regarding the recent incident in the Mediterranean. 



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