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31.05.2019 Libya

Over 170 refugees rescued off the Libyan coast, crossing the Mediterrenean Sea to Europe

Again and again people try to cross the Mediterranean Sea.
MAY 31, 2019 LIBYA
Again and again people try to cross the Mediterranean Sea.

Off the Libyan coast, 100 refugees are being taken out of a crowded inflatable-bootboot. Another 75 clung to a tuna enclosure before they were rescued.

The Italian navy has rescued around 100 refugees from a dinghy in the Mediterranean Sea. Among the refugees discovered by a reconnaissance plane from German aid group Sea Watch were 17 women and 23 minors, the Navy stated on Thursday. The patrol ship "Cigala Fulgosi " had picked up people 90 nautical miles off the Libyan coast, he said. Previously, a five-year-old child died on the boat, Sea Watch explained via Twitter.

The Italian navy, on the other hand, said that no man had died. According to the data, the boat's engine had failed. Few of the migrants were wearing life jackets. And as the weather conditions worsened, they found themselves in "imminent danger ."

The plane "Moonbird" had spotted the refugees in distress at sea, according to the charity. These had previously contacted Sea Watch's migrant emergency call point, Alarm Phone, and had been in contact with people on board the crowded hose-boat.

The Maltese military had previously rescued 75 people from distress at sea, who had clung to a tuna enclosure off Libya's coast, they were taken to Malta. According to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, those rescued were "exhausted, starved and extremely relieved to have solid ground under their feet again, after three days at sea." UNHCR representatives are in personal contact with the refugees. According to UNHCR, two refugee boats with a total of 103 people arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa at night. They left in Libya at least three days before.

Many naval vessels patrolling off the Libyan coast in previous years have since been withdrawn. The use of civilian aid agencies such as Sea Watch is mostly blocked by Italian authorities. Time and again, many refugees in the Mediterranean are drowning in the sinking of their often unseaworthy boats, most of them attempting to cross from Libya to the EU. The UNHCR, therefore, speaks of "the deadliest sea crossing in the world ."

Francis Tawiah (Duisburg - Germany)