Dozens of Lebanese and Syrian migrants trapped for days on a sinking fishing boat in the Mediterranean Sea are urging European coast guards to save them, saying that two children have died.
It was reported that 60 migrants are on that boat and they told relatives over a satellite phone that they have been without food, water, and baby milk for the past three days, and two young children have died.
On board are Syrian refugees and Lebanese from northern towns trying to reach Italy for job opportunities. They left Lebanon off the coast of the northern city of Tripoli about 10 days ago.
“They’re trying to remove water leaking into the boat with buckets, that’s all they have,” the brother of one of the Syrian passengers told the Associated Press.
He asked to not disclose their names for security reasons and because some of the migrants did not want to disclose the news to their families back home.
“This fishing boat is meant for five people, not 60.”
The migrants are reportedly stranded near the coasts of Malta and Italy. The authorities have not dispatched rescuers, according to families and activists in touch with the migrants.
Lebanese MP Ashraf Rifi urged the Italian government, as well as the Lebanese Foreign Ministry and the Lebanese Embassy in Rome to take action.
As the crisis in Lebanon deepened, more Lebanese, as well as Syrian and Palestinian refugees, set off to sea, with emigration attempts almost daily.
Earlier this year, the “boat of death” was carrying dozens of Lebanese, Syrians, and Palestinians trying to emigrate by sea. It went down more than five kilometers from the port of Tripoli and was found sunk 130 Meters away from the site killing dozens of its passengers.
The boat of death was the greatest illegal emigrant tragedy for Lebanon in recent years amid the economic free fall and the public trust in the state and its institutions rapidly collapsing.