“Third Child” dies aboard a migrant vessel stranded in the Mediterranean Sea
According to passengers, they were without water and food for several days because Malta “refuses” to allow rescue operations.
Family members of Lebanese, Syrian migrants, and refugees who were stranded on a sinking boat close to the island of Malta claim that a third child died aboard the vessel and they have lost touch with it.
On Tuesday, the international activist stated that contact had been made with 60 Lebanese as well as Syrians.
They had reported to their family and friends via satellite phone that they were without water, food, or baby formula for several days.
According to relatives, a third child died at the ship’s helm due to dehydration.
About 10 days ago, the vessel left Tripoli in northern Lebanon. The passengers are mainly Lebanese and Syrian refugees who were heading to Italy.
The passengers have asked European coastguards for help.
It tweeted that it was alerting authorities, but they “refused to inform us if any rescue efforts were undertaken”.
The group stated, “End this cruel and ineffective non-assistance.”
One of the relatives of migrants said that his brother had told him on Monday night that more water was being drained into the boat and that they were “drenched”. He spoke under anonymity because he was concerned for his brother’s safety.
He said that while adults can handle the cold and lack supplies well, the children are having trouble.
Ashraf Rifi (Lebanese legislator) asked Italy to send a rescue mission and called on the diplomatic mission in Rome and the foreign ministry of Lebanon to do so. The Lebanese government did not comment on the matter.
As it struggles to overcome an economic crisis that has pushed three-quarters of its population into poverty, Lebanon has become a hub for dangerous sea migration to Europe.
The crisis has gotten worse and more Lebanese as well as Syrian refugees have fled to sea. Security reports indicate that there are almost weekly attempts at migration.
The Greek coastguard reported that a four-year-old girl died on Tuesday during rescue operations for more than 60 asylum seekers who were in Maltese waters. They said that they were notified by the Maltese counterpart to airlift her.
When their boat got into difficulties at sea, the Antigua-flagged cargo vessel picked up the girl along with 62 others. The mother and the child were taken by a Greek navy helicopter into a hospital in Crete where they were declared dead.
Also, the cargo ship was told to reroute. It was moored south-of Crete with remaining asylum seekers, whose nationalities weren’t immediately known.
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