At least 43 dead in a shipwreck off the coast of Tunisia

The boat had left the Libyan coast a few hours earlier, heading for Lampedusa

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Almenys 43 dead in shipwreck off the coast of Tunisia

BarcelonaAt least 43 people have disappeared in Mediterranean waters after sinking off the coast of Tunisia. They were on board a precarious boat that had been rented by a people-smuggling mafia and had left the Libyan coast a few hours before heading towards the Italian island of Lampedusa. Strong winds, overweight, waves and currents, however, caused the boat to capsize and drift to the Tunisian coast, a country bordering Libya. A Red Crescent representative told Efe that 84 more people were on board, mostly from Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea and Bangladesh, who were rescued and transported to the mainland, where they received first aid before being handed over to local authorities for processing.

This is the most serious shipwreck that has taken place off the coast of Tunisia in the whole of 2021. Last 17 April, however, 41 people, including a dozen women and a child, also drowned after the precarious boat carrying them sank, which, as in the case of this Saturday, had been hired by local mafias involved in human trafficking.

In fact, several humanitarian organizations had warned of a high risk of shipwrecks throughout this weekend due to the excellent weather conditions of the last ten days on the coast of Tunisia, where there have been other shipwrecks, interceptions and rescues. This Friday, eight people died at sea and 46 more were rescued after being shipwrecked. A week earlier, two more people lost their lives when they fell into the sea from a sinking boat with 178 people on board, who were rescued by the coast guard.

14 bodies at sea

This Saturday not only 43 people lost their lives in a shipwreck, but on a beach near the town of Zauiya (Tunisia) 14 bodies have been recovered that had disappeared at sea, including a minor. According to a recent study by the NGO Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES), about 2,800 migrants - including 322 unaccompanied minors - have managed to reach the Italian coast from Tunisia during the first five months of this year, while 215 have lost their lives in the crossing.