Almost 400 people have been rescued so far from a vessel which sank off Libya while attempting to cross the Mediterranean sea with an estimated 600 refugees and migrants on board, the UN refugee agency says.
UNHCR added that the bodies of a further 25 people had been recovered, but dozens more were still missing and feared dead in the latest tragedy which took place on Wednesday, August 5. Before this tragedy, some 2,100 people have died so far this year trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe.
Accounts from survivors described how the boat was packed and that people panicked when they saw a rescue boat approaching, rushing to one side and tipping the vessel over. The overcrowded fishing vessel sank within minutes.
The Irish Navy’s vessel LÉ NIAMH transported the 367 rescued people and 25 bodies to Palermo, Sicily yesterday.
Image: Italian Navy/M. Sestini