By Sami Zaptia.
London, 20 December 2016:
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that 18,722 have been rescued in maritime incidents off the western Libyan coastline in 2016. Between 2-16 December 165 were rescued and 51 bodies were retrieved from sea.
The majority of those rescued, 139 on 14 December, were off the coast of Zuwara. There were 20 estimated fatalities. Off the coast of Tajura 49 were rescued between 5-11 December. While off Zawia 26 were rescued and two bodies were retrieved on 13 December.
These latest maritime incidents figures come as the IOM reports that 358,156 migrants or refugees entered Europe by sea through Italy or Greece up to 19 December. Through Italy, 179,523 arrived by sea, overwhelmingly through Libya, representing a 20 percent rise on 2015 figures.
The IOM also reports that there were 4,901 deaths at sea which represents one death for every 73 migrants/refugees who arrive safely in Europe.