The tragedy was confirmed late Thursday by the volunteer rescue ship Ocean Viking, which found dozens of bodies floating in the water northeast of Tripoli.
It had been in danger since Wednesday morning, the NGO said in a statement.
Reports of a shipwreck in the central Mediterranean where at least 100 lives were lost.
We are saddened by this latest tragedy and renew our call to states to redeploy search and rescue vessels in the Mediterranean Sea. https://t.co/qbNalkCvh3
– IOM – UN Migration 🇺🇳 (@UNmigration) April 22, 2021
IOM spokesperson Safa Msehli told reporters in Geneva that the victims had been aboard a rubber dinghy for two days before it sank in the central Mediterranean.
“For two days, the NGO alarm telephone, which is responsible for sending distress calls to relevant maritime rescue centers in the region, called on states to uphold their responsibilities towards these people and send rescue vessels . Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. ”
According to the IOM, this year more than 500 people have drowned along the so-called Central Mediterranean route, almost three times the same time last year.
Others in danger
In the past three days, there have been reports of at least two other boats carrying migrants in the central Mediterranean, Ms. Msehli noted.
A boat was intercepted by the Libyan coast guard and 103 or more people were brought back to Libya “and detained”, while a mother and child were found dead on board.
The third boat, which is believed to carry 40 people, has been at sea for three days and is still missing, the IOM spokesman continued.
“What we fear is that the worst has happened, given the state and state of these boats, given the length and duration people are spending on what remains the most dangerous sea crossing in the world.”
According to IOM data, more than 16,700 people have crossed the Mediterranean route since the beginning of the year and about 750 have died, taking into account the shipwreck on Thursday.