Ten women died in a sinking boat packed with migrants off the coast of Libya on Thursday. They were found dead in a rubber boat that had taken on so much water it was about to sink, Italian officials said. The coast guard ship Diciotti rescued 107 people from the same boat. The dinghy was partly submerged and many of its passengers were already in the water when rescuers arrived. Sea conditions were described as poor, with high winds and waves of up to 2m (6ft). Meanwhile, hundreds of other people were rescued in two separate operations, Italy’s coast guard said.
Migrants and, most importantly, smugglers are adapting to the new policy taken by Europe. They’re just adapting to the different environment, which means basically that the problem is not receding
Analyst Riccardo Fabiani
Also on Thursday, Italian authorities lowered by more than 200 people the estimated number of migrants who died in a 2015 shipwreck. It was thought up to 800 people might have been on board the boat when it sank in the Mediterranean on April 18, 2015. Only 28 survived. But, after the ship was raised from the seabed this week and authorities got a look at its dimensions, they lowered the estimated number of passengers. Divers had recovered 169 bodies and discovered fewer than a dozen others once the resurfacing operation got under way. As a result, the Italian navy said there were likely to be “no fewer than 300” bodies left in the hull, meaning the final toll could be about 500.
Someone grabbed my trousers because they couldn’t swim. I thought: will I die? Or will I survive?
Ibrahim Mbalo, a Gambian survivor of the April 2015 tragedy, speaking last year