(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
On Tuesday the Italian coast guard reported a total of about 500 people were rescued from three separate rescue missions about 20 kilometers off Libya’s coast. The total number of deaths has yet to be confirmed.
Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), a Maltese humanitarian organization, reports to have rescued 400 refugees who were crammed into a wooden boat.
Bodies of four of the refugees on the wooden boat were recovered after they suffocated to death by being kept below the boat’s deck.
According to MOAS one of the survivors received treatment from Emergency, another humanitarian organization also operating on the Mediterranean.
The second rescue mission was by Doctors Without Borders who rescued refugees on a boat made of rubber.
The Italian Navy reported that a refugee suffered from respiratory arrest on one of the boats and was transported by helicopter to Lampedusa.
This is the third year of the humanitarian mission on the Mediterranean of what is reported to be the worst refugee crisis since World War Two which Italy has been playing a vital role.
Since January, over 67,000 refugees survived the journey crossing the Mediterranean from Africa to Italy with 2,499 that died on the way.