At Least 13 Migrants Dead In Italy Boat Tragedy

 

The Italian coastguard said Monday it had recovered the bodies of 13 women, some of them pregnant, after a boat carrying around 50 migrants capsized off Lampedusa.

Around a dozen people, reportedly including eight children and other pregnant women, are still missing after the small, overloaded boat capsized off the coast of the southern Italian island, the coastguard said.

Three Killed In Italy Boat Accident

A tourist boat sails on the Gran Canal at sunset on September 14, 2019 in Venice.
Ludovic MARIN / AFP

 

Three people have been killed in Venice after a powerboat attempting to break an offshore record slammed into an artificial spit of land in the dark, Italian firefighters and media reports said Wednesday.

Italian champion Fabio Buzzi and two British racers died in the crash late Tuesday while another Italian racer survived, the reports said citing Giampaolo Montavoci, president of the national offshore and endurance commission.

The accident happened as the vessel, some 20 metres (65 feet) long and able to travel up to 130 kilometres (80 miles) an hour, tried to break the Monte Carlo to Venice record.

Firefighters said they pulled three bodies from the submerged boat while the survivor had been thrown clear.

The vessel was nearly at the finishing line when it hit the Punta Sabbioni spit, built to protect the city’s “Mose” flood barrier, reports said.

Large boulders piled up on one another from the sea floor run the length of the spit.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site is slowly sinking — something the “Mose” (Moses) system is designed to combat.

The crash was the latest in a string of accidents in the floating city, which sees everything from tiny gondolas to speedboats and vast cruise ships cross its waterways.

In June, the giant 13-deck MSC Opera rammed into a dockside in Venice and knocked into a small tourist boat, injuring four people and sending others on the pier running for safety.

A month later, the 12-deck Costa Deliziosa, nearly 300 metres long, narrowly missed a yacht while being towed out of Venice in stormy conditions.

But the hugely costly array of mobile barriers at the mouth of Venice’s lagoon has suffered years of delays, and is now only expected to be finished in 2021, local daily La Nuova di Venezia said.

AFP

36 People Missing After Boat Sinks In Congo River

 

Thirty-six people are missing after a boat sank in the Congo river on the outskirts of Kinshasa, DR Congo police said on Sunday.

Seventy-six people survived after the vessel went down overnight on the outskirts of the capital, the police wrote on Twitter.

“The cause of the accident is not yet known,” police spokesperson Colonel Pierrot-Rombaut Mwanamputu told AFP.

AFP

33 Bodies Recovered After California Dive Boat Disaster

FBI personnel stand on a jetty in front of the ships Vision (L) and Truth, sister vessels of the diving ship Conception, in Santa Barbara Harbor on September 4, 2019 in Santa Barbara, California. MARIO TAMA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

Rescue workers have recovered a total of 33 bodies from a scuba-diving boat disaster off the coast of California, authorities said Wednesday, adding that one person remains missing.

Search operations for survivors were suspended Tuesday morning, and rescuers have begun an operation to free remains still trapped in the wreckage, which sank 66 feet (20 meters), and to determine the cause of the catastrophe.

The remains of 11 women and nine men were found after the 75-foot Conception caught fire and sank early Monday, trapping passengers below deck beneath the roaring blaze.

Divers have since recovered 13 other bodies, according to the Santa Barbara County sheriff’s department, which is in charge of the investigation.

All the remains have been transported to coroner offices for DNA identification. Authorities have not released details on any victims’ identities.

The boat had been on a diving excursion around Santa Cruz Island, just west of Santa Barbara in southern California.

A total of 39 people — six crew members and 33 passengers — were on board, officials said.

Five crew members were awake and jumped into the water when flames burst out around 3:15 am Monday. They were rescued by a nearby pleasure craft.

The remaining 34 people on board, who were sleeping below deck, appear to have been trapped by the flames.

The fire was so intense that firefighters were unable to board the boat, which sank as they tried to extinguish the blaze. The cause of the disaster is currently unknown.

The website for Truth Aquatics, which owned the Conception, said the ship was scheduled to return Monday from a three-day trip after visiting several diving spots around Santa Cruz Island.

Built in 1981 and with bunks for up to 46 people, the Conception was just 20 yards (meters) off the island’s northern shore when disaster struck.

The area is popular for a variety of water and outdoor sports.

Five Migrants Dead, 20 Missing As Boat Sinks Off Libya

 

The bodies of five migrants including a Moroccan child were recovered off Libya’s coast Tuesday while up to 20 others were missing after a Europe-bound boat sank, the navy said.

Navy spokesman Ayoub Kacem told reporters 65 migrants, mostly from Sudan, were rescued off Khoms, a town 120 kilometres (75 miles) east of Tripoli.

The vessel was believed to have been carrying up to 90 people, he said, based on survivors’ accounts.

Libya has long been a major transit route for migrants, especially from sub-Saharan Africa.

People traffickers have operated with impunity in the chaos that followed the 2011 uprising which toppled and killed dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

AFP

Seven Killed As Boat Capsizes In DR Congo

 

Seven people drowned after a transport boat sank after hitting rocks on a lake in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo over the weekend, local authorities said on Monday.

Lake and river transport is widely used in the DRC as the highway system is poor, but accidents are common, often caused by overloading and the unsafe state of vessels.

The “total number of deaths is seven,” the local minister of transport and communication in South Kivu province, Claude Swedy Basila said in a statement.

Authorities rescued 102 survivors, it said.

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The private boat, carrying 110 passengers, mainly traders, was travelling to the island of Idjwi when it struck a rock Saturday before capsizing.

Saturday’s disaster involved a “baleiniere” or “whaler” — a commonly-used flat-bottomed vessel resembling a motorised canoe 15 to 30 metres (50 to 100 feet) long by two to six metres wide.

At least 30 people died and dozens more went missing in May after a boat accident on a lake in western DRC.

In the vast majority of accidents, passengers are not equipped with life jackets and many cannot swim.

Since the beginning of the year, at least 190 people have died in boat accidents in the DRC, according to an AFP count.

Earlier this year at least 167 people died in two accidents prompting President Felix Tshisekedi to make it mandatory for boat passengers to have lifejackets.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest country, the DRC is struggling with local conflicts, and in remote areas the control of the central government in Kinshasa is weak.

AFP

27 Dead As Fishing Boat Sinks Off Honduras

 

At least 27 people died and nine were missing Wednesday when their fishing boat sank off the Caribbean coast of Honduras, the country’s military said.

Armed forces spokesman Jose Meza said that 55 people survived when the vessel sank off the remote coastal Mosquitia region.

Ninety-one people were aboard the boat, the 70-tonne “Wallie,” when it set sail from Cabo Gracias a Dios — on the country’s easternmost point bordering Nicaragua — after a seasonal ban on lobster fishing was lifted.

The boat sank near Cayo Gorda, a tiny island just northeast of their point of departure. The cause of the disaster was not immediately clear.

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Meza added that the bodies and the survivors would be taken to Puerto Lempira, the main city in eastern Honduras.

Hours before the “Wallie” sank, an overloaded fishing boat in the same area went under.

Meza said that 49 people were rescued from that boat, the “Miss Francely,” which had a capacity to carry 31 people.

The head of the Honduran Merchant Marine, Juan Carlos Rivera, told HCH television that reports from the remote region were incomplete, but that experts will begin to look into what happened to prevent such deadly accidents from taking place again.

Rivera said that authorities have suspended navigation permits for up to three years for boats whose owners bring on too many fishermen.

The captain of the vessel sent out the SOS just before dying, local media reported.

AFP

Two Killed, Several Injured In Lagos Boat Capsize

 

Two persons were killed and several others missing following a boat mishap that occurred at the Ipakan Boat Jetty, Egbin in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State.

The boat which is reported to have been en route Badore in Ajah to Egbin in Ikorodu with about 21 passengers on board allegedly capsized on Saturday night.

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The Director-General of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, who confirmed the incident which occurred at about 11:00 pm, said investigations reveal that the boat was flipped over by the heavy current.

Three persons were, however, rescued and taken to hospital while the dead comprise a 40-year old woman and a yet-to-be-identified man who were found by the agency’s response team.

Rescue and recovery efforts continue for the other missing passengers by officials of LASEMA, the state’s Waterways Agency (LASWA) and the Marine Police.

See photos below: 

12 Killed After Migrant Boat Sinks Off Turkey

This handout picture released and taken on June 17, 2019 by the Turkish coastguard shows illegal migrants being rescued after their boat sank in the Aegean sea, off the coast of southwestern Turkey. AFP

Twelve people died after a boat carrying migrants sank off southwestern Turkey on Monday, the coastguard said.

Thirty-one migrants were rescued after the boat went down off the coast of Bodrum district in Mugla province, the coastguard added, with search and rescue efforts continuing.

The nationality of the migrants was not immediately known.

The incident took place a few kilometres (miles) from the Greek island of Kos.

Home to three million Syrian refugees and up to 300,000 Iraqis who have fled conflict, Turkey is a transit country for migrants trying to reach Europe.

Numbers have dropped since hitting a peak in 2015 when over a million people arrived in Greece fromTurkey, mostly via boats, during the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War.

But a March 2016 deal between Ankara and the European Union helped staunch the flow.

Arrivals on the Greek islands were 875,000 in 2015, dropping to under 40,000 per year in 2017 and 2018, according to EU border force Frontex.

Between January and June this year, 555 migrants died attempting to cross the Mediterranean, according to the International Organization for Migration.

The figure was 924 last year with a peak of 2,911 deaths recorded in 2016.

AFP

Footballers, Fans Killed In Boat Capsize

 

At least eight members of a Ugandan football team and their fans died and 15 more are missing, after a boat, they were travelling in capsized on Lake Albert, police said Monday.

The boat was travelling between two fishing villages in the west of the country when it capsized, with police attributing the accident to overloading and bad weather.

“So far we have recovered eight bodies … up to 15 people are missing and a joint Marine unit is on the waters. But we expect no more survivors,” Ugandan area regional spokesman, Julius Allan Hakiza, told AFP.

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A local official in Fofo, Baker Ogen, told AFP the toll was higher.

“Those who have died in this tragedy are 30 and all from my area,” said Ogen.

“The boat was loaded with our players and supporters. It had over 60 people but 32 of those survived,” he said, adding that the dead included five players and the team coach.

“It is a tragedy for us and a big loss,” he added.

In December 2016, at least 30 Ugandan members of a village football team and their fans drowned when their boat capsized on Lake Albert during a party.

In 2014 at least 251 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo drowned on the lake while returning home from Uganda.

Such accidents are common in Africa’s Great Lakes region, where boats are often the only form of transportation, are over-crowded and poorly maintained, and few people know how to swim.

Almost 140 people died last month on Lake Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Last year in Tanzania 228 people drowned when a ferry sank just metres from the shore on Lake Victoria.

AFP

Four Missing As Passenger Boat Capsizes In Delta

 

A boat carrying 22 passengers has capsized in Ebrohimi community creek in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State.

The Delta State Police Command confirmed the development to Channels Television.

According to the acting Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Chuks Orisewezie, the boat comprises of three police officers and 19 other passengers.

“The report available to the Command reveals that on March 9, a boat conveying 22 passengers, three Policemen and 19 members of the community returning from ward 3 Ebrohimi to Koko Jetty after the elections, at about 0120hrs capsized along the waterway at Ureju community,” he stated.

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The police officer explained that 18 passengers including three Policemen and 15 natives have been successfully rescued.

He added that 4 passengers are still missing, two of the rescued passengers have been rushed to the Oghara General Hospital.

Contrary to some rumours, the police spokesman noted that no Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) official or National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) member was involved in the boat mishap.

He also reiterated the commitment of the police in rescuing the missing passengers.

Five Dead, 130 Missing As Migrant Boats Sink Off Djibouti – IOM

File Photo: Migrants

 

Five people are dead and about 130 missing off the coast of Djibouti after two boats carrying migrants capsized, the UN migration agency said on Tuesday.

The incident occurred about 30 minutes after the overloaded boats set off in heavy seas from Godoria on the Horn of Africa nation’s northeast coastline, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

“After being alerted by local residents, a team of gendarmerie gathered this afternoon near the reported site of the disaster and discovered two survivors as well as the remains of three women and two men,” IOM said in a statement.

One survivor estimated there were 130 people on his boat, but wasn’t able to say the number of passengers on the other vessel.

“The coast guard was also alerted and launched search and rescue operations. Those operations are still underway with two patrol boats,” said the statement.

Located across the Bab el-Mandeb strait from war-torn Yemen and next to volatile Somalia and Ethiopia, Djibouti has in recent years become a transit point for migrants heading to find work on the Arabian Peninsula.

Refugees fleeing Yemen also try and cross in the other direction.

The strategic sea crossing has repeatedly proven perilous.

Last year, at least 30 migrants from Somalia and Ethiopia believed to be headed for Djibouti drowned when their boat capsized off the coast of Yemen amid reports of gunfire being used against those on board.

In August 2017, dozens of migrants from Somalia and Ethiopia died after human traffickers forced them off two Yemen-bound boats and into the sea.