Five killed in Mediterranean after refugee boat capsizes

Five refugees die, 565 are rescued after their boat capsizes off the coast of Libya.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Refugees are seen on a capsizing boat before a rescue operation by Italian Navy ships "Bettica" and "Bergamini" (unseen) off the coast of Libya.

An overcrowded boat carrying hundreds of refugees capsized in the Mediterranean Sea on Wednesday, leaving behind five drowned bodies off the Libyan coast.  

War, hunger, desperation…These are the reasons which have pushed thousands of people to undertake a perilous journey to cross the Mediterranean.


The tragic moment was photographed by the Italian Coastguard.

Roughly 565 people have been rescued by the Italian Navy's Bettica patrol boat. Bettica threw life rafts and jackets as the frigate Bergamini deployed a helicopter and several rubber motorboats to save the refugees who were trying to climb onto the hull of the overturned vessel.

It was not the only incident that took place in the Mediterranean Sea on Wednesday, The Betica received a similar call to rescue 180 people later.

Refugee boats attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea rose sharply in the recent days as the weather is getting warmer.

A Syrian refugee holding a baby in a lifetube swims toward the shore after their dinghy deflated some 100 meters away before reaching the Greek island of Lesbos on Sept. 13.

6,000 refugees have been rescued on Monday and Tuesday. Officials fear the number of people attempting to make the journey across will increase in the upcoming days.

According to UN Refugee Agency, in 2016 more than 190,960 refugees attempted the dangerous journey using unseaworthy boats and dinghies.

The lives of 1,375 people were lost during the dangerous voyage.  

Last year the number of the refugee arrivals via Mediterranean hit at least 1,015,078.

Refugees are desperate to leave their conflict-ridden countries to reach Europe.

Turkey-based humanitarian aid agency Support to Life (STL) launched a project, called  “The Sea Cemetery,” in memory of the thousands of refugees who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea.

The project aims to draw attention to the humanitarian crisis taking place in Syria and it hopes to raise money to prevent such dangerous crossings.

TRTWorld and agencies