migrant influx
migrant influx

A private rescue ship found at least 10 bodies after a migrant boat sent out a distress call off the coast of Libya, aid organization SOS Mediterranee said late Thursday.

The Ocean Viking ship found the site of the accident north-east of Tripoli after hours of searching on Thursday, the organization said.

Some 130 refugees had been on board the inflatable boat, according to the group. No survivors have been found.

SOS Mediterranee says it was responding to distress calls it received in recent days from several boats. By the time the crew was alerted, the boats were all several hours away.

The crew of the Ocean Viking started searching but the rescue mission was unsuccessful.

“Since we reached the site we have not found any survivors, but we found at least 10 bodies near the wreck,” said Luisa Albera, search and rescue coordinator for the Ocean Viking.

At least 41 people were killed when a migrant boat sank off the Tunisian coast a week ago.

Nearly 360 people have died in the Central Mediterranean so far this year, according to UN data.

Many refugees have been trying to reach Italy by travelling in small boats across the Mediterranean. The private rescue operations carried out by groups including SOS Mediterranee are politically controversial.

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