Dozens of migrants drown in new horror
DOZENS of passengers in a crowded rubber boat fell into the sea and may have drowned as a rescue vessel approached, survivors reported as they arrived in Italy yesterday to join thousands of others rescued in the Mediterranean.
Giovanna di Benedetto of the aid group Save the Children said the exact toll is not known, but she said survivors, in their first interviews with aid officials, reported that many people fell into the sea and could not swim after their boat either deflated or experienced difficulty.
The incident is believed to have occurred on Sunday in the sea between Libya and Sicily when a commercial vessel, the Zeran, approached the rubber boat to rescue the migrants.
The survivors were yesterday brought to Catania.
The weekend saw a dramatic increase in rescues as smugglers in Libya took advantage of calm seas and warm weather to send thousands of would-be refugees out into the Mediterranean.