(Garabulli) The Libyan Coast Guard recovered on Tuesday the bodies of eleven drowned migrants, including a child, after the shipwreck off Libya of the boat which was to take them clandestinely to Europe, according to a photographer from the AFP on the spot.
By mid-morning on Tuesday, local authorities were notified of dead bodies – ten men and a little girl – floating in the water a few meters from the shore in the town of Garaboulli, 50 km east of Tripoli. .
At least four people swam back to Garaboulli Lighthouse beach, easy to access because of its bay with calm waters, noted the AFP photographer, who saw them lying on the sand, exhausted, trying to regain strength with a few bites of bread and sips of milk offered by rescuers.
Shipwreck survivors, if they are not too exhausted, usually try to flee as soon as they return to dry land so as not to risk being detained by the Libyan authorities.
The boat, which was carrying “about 80 migrants” and sank near the coast, according to one of the survivors.
On board the damaged boat were Egyptians, Pakistanis and even Bangladeshis, according to the passports shown by survivors.
During the time of Muammar Gaddafi, overthrown in 2011, thousands of migrants crossed the southern borders of Libya, 5000 km long, to then attempt to cross the Mediterranean towards Europe, in particular Italy, some 300 km away.
The situation worsened after the fall of the dictator, with smugglers taking advantage of the chaos in Libya to send tens of thousands of migrants to Italy each year.
From Wednesday to Monday, the Libyan Red Crescent recovered on the beaches of Sabratha (70 km west of Tripoli) the bodies of 34 illegal migrants who perished after the sinking of an inflatable boat carrying a hundred passengers, according to the NGO Alarm Phone, a group of volunteers that runs an emergency telephone line for migrants in difficulty.