The Libyan Navy denied allegations that it stood idle as a number of migrants drowned off its coast. A spokesperson for the Navy, Masoud Abdelsamad, insisted with reporters that the Libyan coastguards tried to take up the rescue mission of the immigrants despite bad weather conditions, saying they had sent a boat from Al-Khums city shores after receiving a distress call.
“We feel sorry for the loss of the immigrants’ lives. The wind was strong and the sea waves were very high as well. The rescue operation was next to impossible in such unfortunate circumstances.” Abdelsamad added.
He explained that the Libyan coastguards had rescued another boat that had on board 106 immigrants, saying that two bodies were also recovered from the seashore and that the coastguards started looking for the capsized boat in the same night and on the second morning, but bad weather conditions got in the way
At least 130 migrants are feared to have drowned in Mediterranean. The civil hotline Alarm Phone had reported three boats were in distress on Wednesday, prompting SOS Mediterranee to launch a search “in very rough seas, with up to 6-metre waves”, the non-governmental organisation said in a news release issued last week.
via The Libya Observer