1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

German rescue group: 10 migrants found dead in Mediterranean

June 17, 2024

Rescuers from a German rescue group said 10 bodies were found on a wooden boat in the Mediterranean during a rescue operation.

ResQship's "Nadir" rescue vessel pictured during a rescue in 2023
German rescue charity ResQship said that it had managed to rescue 51 people from a flooded but the bodies of 10 people were found below deckImage: Leon Salner/RESQSHIP e.V./dpa/picture alliance

The bodies of 10 migrants have been discovered on a wooden boat by rescuers from German migrant rescue charity, ResQship.

The group said on Monday that rescuers had come to assist a wooden vessel in distress in the Mediterranean.

Bodies discovered in flooded lower deck

Rescuers managed to save 51 people, however, the bodies of 10 people were found below the flooded deck of the vessel.

The charity did not provide details about where or when this specific rescue operation took place, but according to the marinetraffic.com tracking service, it  was in the western Mediterranean, between the Tunisian port of Sfax and Italy's island of Lampedusa.

"A total of 61 people were on the wooden boat, which was full of water. Our crew was able to evacuate 51 people, two of whom were unconscious — they had to be cut free with an axe," it said.

"The 10 dead are in the flooded lower deck of the boat," the rescue charity added. 

Dozens of people reported missing off Calabria

In a separate incident, Italy's coastguard said that searches were being conducted for people who had gone overboard off Calabria, with local reports citing survivors that upwards of 60 people were missing.

Reuters news agency quoted the coastguard as saying that search operations began on Sunday night for "possible missing persons, following the shipwreck of a sailing boat with migrants on board, presumably departing from Turkey."

Rescue efforts began after "a 'mayday' from a French pleasure boat sailing off the Italian coast," the coastguard was reported as having said.

It went on to say that one of the surviving 12 died after disembarking.

Libya and Tunisia are among the become major departure points for migrants attempting to get to Europe.

Migrants and asylum seekers attempt perilous journeys by sea in often rickety boats through the Mediterranean in the hopes of a better life.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the central Mediterranean has become the world's deadliest migratory route, claiming more than 20,000 lives since 2014. 

EU accused of funding abuse of migrants in Africa

kb/lo (Reuters, AFP)