Ghost boats disappear with Europe-bound migrants

Proactiva Open Arms boat is seen here rescuing migrants at the Mediterranean Sea enroute to Europe. The migrants docked at the Center for Temporary Assistance to Foreigners (CATE) in the port of Algeciras, Spain, File photo: Jon Nazca/Reuters

Proactiva Open Arms boat is seen here rescuing migrants at the Mediterranean Sea enroute to Europe. The migrants docked at the Center for Temporary Assistance to Foreigners (CATE) in the port of Algeciras, Spain, File photo: Jon Nazca/Reuters

from AHMED ZAYED in Tripoli, Libya
TRIPOLI, (CAJ News) THE disappearance of seven boats in the Mediterranean Sea last year indicates the deaths at sea during this dangerous journey is higher than the 1 283 casualties documented in 2019.

No survivors were rescued from these so-called ghost boats that were sailing to Europe.

One of these unaccounted-for boats was carrying at least 73 people and disappeared in the Alborán Sea en-route to Spain in November. Among those aboard were 20 women and three children.

Another boat disappeared in the Western Mediterranean in January 2019, while at least another five vessels went missing off the coast of Libya en-route to Italy.

“The remains of those lost at sea this year may never be found, like thousands of others lost in the Mediterranean,” lamented Frank Laczko, Director of the International Organisation for Migration’s (IOM’s) Global Migration Data Analysis Centre.

He said yearly, these deaths left families in limbo, not knowing whether a relative was dead or alive.

“If you come from a high-income country, efforts will be made to find and identify your body should you go missing. The same simply does not apply if you are an undocumented migrant.”

IOM disclosed a 44 percent reduction in the number of deaths from the 2 299 casualties confirmed during 2018.

In 2019, 110 669 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea, marking the sixth straight year that at least 100 000 arrivals were recorded on three Mediterranean Sea Routes.

The total is below the 116 273 individuals who crossed the Mediterranean in 2018.

– CAJ News

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