Boat carrying 500 asylum seekers disappears in Mediterranean Sea | Migration News


Two humanitarian ships fail to seek out vessel in misery after rescue teams lose contact with these onboard.

A boat carrying about 500 asylum seekers, together with a new child child and pregnant ladies, has disappeared within the central Mediterranean, based on two humanitarian organisations.

Alarm Telephone, a gaggle that picks up calls from refugee vessels in misery, stated on Friday that it had misplaced contact with the boat on Wednesday morning.

On the time, the boat was adrift with no working engine in excessive seas about 320km (200 miles) north of the Libyan port of Benghazi and greater than 400km (250 miles) away from Malta and Italy’s southern island of Sicily.

Italian NGO Emergency stated on Thursday that its Life Assist ship and the Ocean Viking, one other charity vessel, had appeared for the lacking boat for twenty-four hours however discovered no signal of it or any shipwreck.

A spokesperson for Emergency stated on Friday that the search was persevering with, including that the individuals onboard may need been picked up by one other boat or could have managed to repair their engine and proceed crusing in the direction of Sicily.

Separate operations

The Italian coastguard on Thursday reported the rescue of 423 individuals and 671 individuals in two separate operations in Italian search and rescue waters, and Alarm Telephone stated they have been unrelated to the lacking boat.

In a separate incident, the German charity SOS Humanity stated 27 individuals have been picked up at sea by an oil tanker and illegally taken again to Libya.

Below worldwide humanitarian legislation, asylum seekers can’t be forcibly returned to international locations the place they threat harsh therapy, and widespread refugee abuse has been extensively documented in Libya.

Efficiency Transport, the Greek firm that owns the P Lengthy Seaside tanker allegedly concerned within the incident, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

European governments have taken an more and more laborious line on migration, together with in Italy, which is going through a surge in sea arrivals.

Greater than 47,000 refugees have arrived by boat to this point this 12 months, up from about 18,000 in the identical interval of 2022.

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