Posted on June 04, 2018 by Hannah Berry
46 migrants have died after their boat sank off the Tunisian coast. The disaster occurred at approx. 10.45pm on Saturday 2ndJune as the migrants tried to make their way to mainland Europe.
The route is increasingly used by human traffickers as they lure migrant workers away from mainland Africa.
A distress call was received by Tunisia’s interior ministry on Saturday night and units of the Sfax Marine Guard and the Navy were despatched to the boat which was five nautical miles from Kerkennah Island and 16 nautical miles from the city of Sfax. They discovered a fishing boat crowded with over 180 people which was about to sink. The current death toll makes the incident one of the worst to occur in recent years.
The search for survivors is due to resume on Monday 4thJune with the coastguard and navy supported by a military plane. A defence ministry spokesman reported that those onboard included nationals from Tunisia, Ivory Coast, Morocco and Cameroon
The Turkish coastguard also reported a migrant tragedy on Sunday morning as a boat capsized near the town of Demre in the southern province of Antalya. 14-15 people were on the vessel at the time and latest reports from Turkey’s state-run Anatolia News Agency state that the coastguard recovered the bodies of nine victims and rescued four others while a fifth migrant was saved by a passing fishing vessel.