Rescue charity recovers eleven bodies from the sea off Libya

Doctors Without Borders, a group that works to save migrants from danger on the seas, said the charity ship had recovered 11 bodies off the coasts of Libya after it had saved more than 160 migrants.

MSF reported that its Geo Barents rescue and search vessel had picked up 146 migrants over two operations. Then, another 20 were found in a different boat. They also removed the bodies of eleven people, who had been seen floating in the water by a spotter aircraft.

“We don’t know the exact cause of this tragedy but we do know that people are still dying in their desperate attempts to reach safety. MSF stated on social media platform X that “this slaughter must stop”.

Sea Watch, whose plane spotted the bodies, reported that they had tried to contact Libya’s coastguard to retrieve the dead but did not receive a reply. In a statement, it stated that “this is what happens even when no one sees it” in the Mediterranean.

Since 2014, the United Nations has recorded more than 20,000 deaths or disappearances along the central Mediterranean. This makes it the world’s most dangerous migration crossing.

Italy has called on Tunisia to do more to prevent would-be migrants leaving the shores. Italy has also tightened up on rescue ship operations, saying that they encourage people to travel to Europe.

Italy, highlighting the restrictions placed on rescue ships, told Geo Barents on Friday to take their latest group of migrants north to Genova. This is more than 650 miles away from where they are and far from the more convenient ports of nearby Sicily.

MSF stated that “this will delay significantly assistance for… survivors, who have already endured a great deal.”

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