On Wednesday night, a boat reportedly carrying around 450 migrants from Egypt to Italy sank off the coast close to their launch point. Of those, 163 have been rescued, with 43 bodies recovered and the rest still missing.
CNN reports that four crew members, including the ship’s owner, were arrested on Thursday, and detained on suspicions of “human trafficking and involuntary manslaughter.” The boat has now been missing for over 24 hours and hope of recovering more people is dwindling.
The first people to reach the scene were fisherman, who rescued the majority of the survivors before the coast guard arrived. They’ve continued to aid in the search up and down the coast near the town of Rashid. While fisherman report seeing a few dead bodies from failed migratory crossings before, this is by far the worst in the area. Most of the survivors are believed to be Egyptian, but some may be from Sudan and Somalia. One fisherman told CNN, “Only dead bodies came out of the sea today, no survivors.”
CNN also shared reports from the U.N., which estimated that, with increased illegal immigration from North Africa to Europe, around 300,000 have made the trip this year, 30 percent of whom are children. Of those, 3,348 were reported lost at sea.