Maritime News

Migrants continue to risk lives in Mediterranean

21 April 2017

There seems to be no let-up in the movement of thousands of migrants and refugees who are prepared to risk their lives in making dangerous crossings of the Mediterranean Sea into European waters.

In one of the busiest periods in 2017 so far, a reported 8,300 people were rescued over the Easter weekend, and eight died, as migrants continued to crowd into unseaworthy boat and dinghies after paying high prices to unscrupulous people smugglers.

The Italian coastguard reported that 5,000 people were rescued in dozens of separate operations off the Libyan coast on two consecutive days, but rescuers were unable to save seven migrants in one operation in which more than 1,500 people were rescued. The Migrant Offshore Aid Station also said it had rescued at least 453 people, and Médecins Sans Frontières said it had rescued about 1,000 people.

According to figures from the United Nations, an estimated 32,750 people have arrived in Europe by sea in 2017 to date, and 826 are dead or missing.


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