Italy’s coast guard says only four people survived the sinking of a migrant ship off Libya’s coast Saturday. An estimated 100 people were aboard and only eight bodies have been recovered.
Nearly 100 people are missing after a boat carrying migrants wrecked in the waters between Libya and Italy, the International Organization for Migration said Saturday.
“The bodies of eight people have been recovered. Four people have been saved, and they say 107 migrants were onboard the boat in all,” the agency’s press office said.
A French naval ship, two trade vessels, and aerial support have been called to help with the search.
Despite the number of migrants travelling to Europe by land drastically decreasing since late 2015, hundreds still make the dangerous journey.
Since the start of the year, more than 1,000 people have arrived in Europe by sea, according to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).
And just two days ago, 550 migrants were rescued while making the journey across the Mediterranean.
The UNHCR say a record 5,000 people died trying to reach Europe in this way in 2016, due to human traffickers cramming more and more people on to each craft.
Pope demands protection for migrants as sea rescue continues
Pope Francis is demanding that “every possible measure” be taken to protect young refugees as he marks the church’s World Day of Migrants a day after the latest Mediterranean migrant shipwreck.
He said: “We must adopt every possible measure to guarantee young migrants protection and defense, as well as integration.”