A pregnant woman has died after a small rubber dinghy sank in the Mediterranean Sea, and at least seven other migrants are missing, officials say.
Doctors Without Borders, an international humanitarian group, said 71 survivors were rescued on Monday as they struggled to survive in waters off the coasts of Italy and Malta.
“What we encountered yesterday was our worst nightmare,” Ricardo Gatti, head of the search and rescue team, said in a statement. “When we got close to the boat in distress and we saw it with our binoculars, we knew how complicated it would be to rescue. The boat sank with dozens of people trapped in it, while many were already trapped. Was in the water. “
Rescuers tried to resuscitate the pregnant woman, but were unsuccessful. Three other refugees, including a 4-month-old baby, are in need of emergency care. The baby and his mother were later sent to Malta, according to Doctors Without Borders.
Two women told rescuers they also lost their children at sea, while another said her younger brother suffered the same fate. Rescuers also said up to 12 others may be missing, according to the group.
“The rescuers are tired,” said Stephanie Hofster, head of the medical team at the Geo Barents search and rescue boat. “Most people ate large amounts of sea water and many people developed hypothermia after spending several hours in the water.”
According to Doctors Without Borders, at least six refugees have suffered from moderate to severe burns and need additional treatment.
The group said the incident was a fatal consequence of the incompetence and incompetence of European countries, including Italy and Malta, regarding migrants in the Mediterranean.
“Tragedy at sea continues to claim the lives of thousands of people, and these people are lost at the gates of Europe in absolute silence and indifference. [European Union] M بېdecins Sans Frontires and rescuer Juan Mattis Gill said in a statement.
According to Doctors Without Borders, about 721 missing migrants have been counted in the Mediterranean this year alone, making it the world’s deadliest border. A total of six missing refugees have been registered there in the last one year.
A man from Cameroon said he was at sea for 19 hours before being rescued.
“During all these hours, I saw a lot of people drowning,” he said. “I’m glad I was saved but it comes with a lot of tears.”
Photos Posted on Twitter Doctors Without Borders shows dozens of refugees struggling to survive while being “severely traumatized and shocked”.
The Geo Barents boat sailed to Italy after a dramatic rescue and M ادارهdecins Sans Fronti ډاکټرres (MSF) is working with Maltese and Italian authorities to find a “safe haven” for migrants.