Tunisia, hundreds of migrants saved from drowning before reaching Italy

TUNISI (ITALPRESS/MNA) – A Turkish tanker ship owned by a private company has undertaken a humanitarian mission off Tunisia, rescuing 139 migrants on a sinking boat. While en route to Malta, the crew of the tanker named Beks Bodrum/Valut received an urgent distress call and swiftly altered their course to aid the refugee boat. Upon reaching the scene, the crew initiated a rescue operation, successfully evacuating the 139 migrants aboard their ship and providing them with essential food assistance. A video recorded by a crew member captured poignant moments as some of the migrants struggled with the waves before ascending onto the vessel.
Meanwhile the Tunisiàs coastguard recovered the bodies of five migrants off the country’s coast, the national guard said, bringing the death toll in one week to 11 migrants.
Tunisian maritime authorities rescued 1,178 undocumented immigrants off its eastern coast and thwarted 28 attempts at illegal sea crossings to Italy, the Tunisian National Guard said in a statement. The maritime guards intercepted vessels off the coast of Sfax province, saving 1,160 immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa and 18 Tunisians. Additionally, two bodies were recovered during the operations. Authorities also seized 15 boats and arrested nine individuals. Measures against the immigrants are being taken after consultation with the public prosecutor’s office, according to the statement.
Located in the central Mediterranean, Tunisia is one of the main points of access to Europe used by undocumented immigrants.
Meanwhile, the international NGO Alarm Phone said that a boat carrying about 145 migrants is at risk of capsizing. It added the communication with the migrants is very difficult but “we believe they are in the SAR zone of Egypt and south of Crete. They say they are drowning.” Alarm Phone alerted the authorities and urged for an immediate rescue operation.The Mediterranean Sea, where many migrants try to reach southern Europe from northern Africa, continues to be the deadliest route for migrants, with at least 3,129 deaths and disappearances registered last year.
-photo Agenzia Fotogramma-

Source: medNews