Shipwrecks off Italian coast leave at least 11 dead and dozens missing


According to the IOM, over 3,150 migrants died or went missing in the Mediterranean last year, making it the deadliest migration route in the world.


Two devastating shipwrecks off Italy’s southern coast have resulted in the deaths of at least 11 migrants and left 64 people missing, according to United Nations agencies.

In the first tragedy, a boat carrying migrants from Turkey caught fire and overturned approximately 200 kilometres off the coast of Calabria.

Survivors reported that the vessel had been at sea for eight days before the disaster struck.

The Italian coastguard initiated a search-and-rescue operation following a mayday call from a French vessel in the vicinity.

At least 12 survivors were rescued and taken to the port of Roccella Jonica for medical treatment, but one died shortly after arriving. The majority of the missing migrants are from Iran, Syria, and Iraq.

Another perilous journey ends in tragedy

In a separate incident near the island of Lampedusa, rescue workers discovered a wooden boat full of water. The crew of the German aid ship Nadir managed to evacuate 51 people, including two who were unconscious and had to be freed with an axe.

Bodies of 10 migrants were found trapped below deck. The survivors, primarily from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Egypt, and Syria, had each paid around $3,500 (around €3,250) for the journey.

The Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Center quickly diverted nearby merchant vessels to assist in both rescue operations. Frontex, the European border and coast guard agency, also provided support.

Despite the challenging circumstances, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) provided psychological assistance and first aid to the survivors.

The organisation emphasised the severe conditions that many migrants endure during these crossings.

Tough border to patrol, authorities say

These incidents come amid ongoing efforts by Italian authorities to manage the influx of migrants.

Measures include advising migrants to use umbrellas, stay hydrated, and avoid direct sun exposure during the hottest parts of the day. The increasing number of unregistered migrants often lacking access to basic facilities remains a challenge.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), over 3,150 migrants died or went missing in the Mediterranean last year, making it the deadliest migration route in the world.

The EU has recently implemented stricter immigration controls, while Italy’s government has introduced laws aimed at reducing the number of sea crossings.

These include restrictions on the operations of charity rescue ships, which are often accused of encouraging migration.

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