A vessel with about 400 individuals on board is adrift. It is between Greece and Malta and has been taking on water, support service Alarm Phone mentioned on Sunday, following a sharp increase of migrant boats that cross the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa.
Alarm Phone mentioned on Twitter that they got a call from the boat that departed from Libya’s Tobruk overnight and that they had informed the relevant authorities. But they stated that the authorities had not launched a rescue operation until now.
On its Twitter handle, a German NGO named Sea-Watch International mentioned that it had found the boat with two merchant ships close by.
It reported that relevant Maltese authorities had ordered vessels not to conduct a rescue mission and that one was asked to supply it with fuel.
Alarm Phone said that board members had been panicking, with many needing medical attention.
The ship ran out of fuel, and the lower deck was filled with water while the ship’s captain had left. There wasn’t anybody who would be able to steer the boat.
Another NGO, Germany’s Resqship, mentioned on Sunday that at least 23 migrants died in another shipwreck overnight in the Mediterranean Sea.
It posted on Twitter that the NGO had reportedly discovered 25 individuals in the water during its rescue mission. Its staff could successfully recover 22 survivors with two dead bodies, even though it was informed about 20 others who had drowned.
Last week, nearly 440 migrants were successfully rescued off Malta following a complicated 11-hour mission in stormy, rough seas by the Geo Barents vessel of the charity Doctors without Borders (MSF).
About 23 African migrants had been missing, and four died on Saturday after two boats submerged off Tunisia while trying to reach Italy.
Reference: India Today, Hindustan Times
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