Italy coastguard rescues 13,000 refugees off Libya in peak season
Sept.1, Rome: Italy's coastguard and vessels from other European nations have pulled 13,000 refugees from barely seaworthy and overcrowded boats off the Libyan coast in the mere space of four days, according to reports.
Traffickers are taking advantage of the calm summer weather, piling refugees on to flimsy boats when the sea is more placid so that the southern wind can push them into international waters. However, the flimsy rubber dinghies that are often used become highly unstable in high seas.
It is estimated that 6,500 people, believed to be mostly from Somalia and Eritrea, were rescued on Monday alone. More than 400,000 have successfully made the voyage to Italy from North Africa since the beginning of 2014, fleeing violence and poverty.
The Oslo Times International News Network