Migrant ship in Mediterranean capsizes; 77 rescued, dozens dead

Migrant-ship-in-Mediterranean-capsizes-77-rescued-dozens-dead.  ROME, About 77 people were rescued after a migrant boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea on Thursday while an unknown number of people are believed to have died.

Migrant-ship-in-Mediterranean-capsizes-77-rescued-dozens-dead
From about 30 to about 80 people are believed to have drowned on Thursday after a boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea. Almost 6,000 migrants have tried to reach European shores in recent weeks. Photo courtesy of EU Naval Force Mediterranean

The European Union Naval Force for the Mediterranean Sea said rescue operations were carried out by the Spanish frigate Reina Sofia, the Spanish Air Force and the Italian Coast Guard. BBC News reported up to 30 migrants are feared to have drowned but the Italian Coast Guard said about 80 people could have died.

This incident follows the deaths of at least five people on Wednesday when a fishing boat carrying almost 600 migrants from Libya capsized in the Mediterranean Sea.

The capsizing Wednesday likely happened when people on the packed deck of the boat rushed to one side to grab the attention of a passing ship. The boat rolled, then sank. About 562 migrants were rescued.

Almost 6,000 migrants have tried to reach European shores in the few weeks since more mild Spring weather arrived on the Mediterranean, with the span between Libya and Italy becoming the main route.

By Andrew V. Pestano

UPI NEWS