Sea crossings continue to claim lives on North Africa’s shorelines

Publicado: 23 septiembre 2016 11:32 CET

By Soraya Dali-Balta, IFRC

The mortal remains of 30 people who lost their lives in trying to cross the Mediterranean have been recovered by the Libyan Red Crescent after a boat sank off Libya earlier this week. The boat was reported to be carrying up to 180 people.

The Red Crescent announced retrieving and transporting 12 bodies of migrants who lost their lives at sea in the last 24 hours alone. The bodies were washed ashore in Benghazi, Darnah, Deriana, Tocra and Zuwarah.

Earlier this week, the organization said that its volunteers retrieved 18 bodies of migrants who drowned off the country’s shores. The bodies were found scattered miles apart, near the towns of Athrun, Cyrene, Darnah, Ras Al Helal and Tobruk.

“We believe the bodies we retrieved in the past hours are from the same boat that sank off Libya on Monday, and we believe that no one survived this tragedy,” said Mr Baha’a Alkawsh, the head of media and communications at the Red Crescent in Libya.

“Our teams are still on ground to care for the bodies that are expected appear on the Libyan shoreline in the coming days,” he added, noting that the official toll is expected to increase.

This year alone, more than 3,200 people lost their lives trying to make the crossing to Europe. Most boats depart from Libya but recently, more and more migrants’ boats are leaving from Egypt.

National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies continue to be the first responders to tragedies on both sides of the Mediterranean. Volunteers provide relief, medical assistance, psychosocial support, and other aid to survivors, or ensure dignity for the deceased. Italian Red Cross and IFRC are also working with Migrant Offshore Aid Station to rescue boats at sea.