On Wednesday an Egypt migrant boat capsized about 8 miles (12 km) off the Egyptian coast.
Report says that 163 out of 450-600 migrants were saved while hundreds of others are believed to have drowned. It also says that hundreds of bodies have been recovered from the port city of Rosetta. The death toll keeps increasing.
An Egyptian official confirms that in line with investigations, 4 crew members have been arrested as well. These men could face charges of “involuntary manslaughter and human trafficking”.
The Libyan coasts, which is popular for countless illegal migrations that have seen thousands of deaths and ship wrecks, is perhaps not the only route migrants have been plying.
Desperate migrants have been crossing over to Europe from the Egyptian coasts. The EU’s border agency had earlier warned that an increasing number of illegal Europe-bound migrants have been using Egypt as a departure point.
As usual, what caused the Egypt Migrant Boat to capsize was the overpopulated number of people in the vessel. Witnesses and survivors of the accident said that the boat capsized after about 150 more persons came onboard the boat.
Some lucky survivors are said to have spent 7-8 hours in the water before they were rescued. Afflicted families still hope for missing relatives to show up.
Fishermen in the area also helped to rescue some drowning and dying migrants.
“Anyone who was saved here, was saved by the local fishing boats,” – Abdelrahman Al-Mohamady, Fisherman.
According to BBC, the International Organization for Migration says that those rescued were 111 Egyptians, 26 Sudanese, 13 Eritreans, a Syrian and an Ethiopian.
Some of the survivors are being hospitalized while the others are now detained in police custody. Egyptian authorities say that foreigners will be released much later after their questioning. IOM report shows that 2016 is the worst so far with regards to migrant deaths at sea.
They also identify the reason behind the increased rate of migration from Egyptian coasts as “high birth rates and few job opportunities”.