Lampedusa death toll expected to rise
Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 5, 2013
Update October 11th: Refugees breed ill will on Lampedusa, here.
Update October 9th: German interior minister—the solution is NOT to allow more in, here.
This is a story you could hardly have missed over the last few days when more than a hundred of mostly African illegal aliens drowned trying to reach the island of Lampedusa in Italy. It was even reported in my small hometown paper, but I would be remiss in not noting it here since we have written so much over the last five plus years about the boat people trying to get from Africa to Italy or Malta.
In fact, at least some of the Syrians now blocking the port of Calais in France say they made the journey across the Mediterranean, landed in Italy and simply traveled northward in Europe unmolested by immigration authorities.
From The Independent:
With 111 bodies recovered from the waters off the Italian island of Lampedusa after a boat carrying 500 African migrants capsized, search and rescue teams had to abandon their efforts amid poor weather conditions.
The scale of the tragedy was evident when a ferry delivered 140 more coffins to the little island as preparations were made for mass funerals at five different sites in Agrigento on the Sicilian mainland. More than 350 people are now feared dead.
Coast Guard captain Floriana Segreto, said: “In total among the living and the dead when have accounted for 266 people. But our work is not finished.” Emergency services said that half of those confirmed dead so far were women.
The disaster occurred early on Thursday morning when a 20m boat carrying migrants mainly from Eritrea, Somalia and Ghana got into difficulty less than a mile from the shore of Lampedusa. Someone on board set light to a piece of fabric to attract the attention of nearby ships, but the flames spread, forcing the desperate refugees into the sea.
Vito Fiorino, a Lampedusa resident, said he was the first to come across dozens of migrants scattered in the Mediterranean Sea while he was on an early morning fishing expedition. He told the Associated Press that some of the survivors told him they had been fighting to stay alive for three hours and did not have the strength to grab the life-ring he threw to them. “It was a scene from a film, something you hope never to see in life,” he said.
Photo is from this story at the London Evening Standard, where we hear this:
….the independent UN investigator on the human rights of migrants said the boat wreck highlighted the dangers of harsh measures against people seeking a better life in another country.
I guess what this means is—we can’t beat the criminals so just open the borders world-wide and let them all in!
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