A shipwreck in the central Mediterranean last week claimed the lives of 41 migrants, according to a report by Italian authorities cited by Reuters on Wednesday.
The vessel was carrying 45 individuals, and the report stated that four of the accident survivors were transported to Lampedusa Island.
The incident is being investigated by the office of local public prosecutor Salvatore Vella.
The survivors’ report, cited by Ansa, revealed that the 7-meter-long boat left Sfax in Tunisia on Thursday morning and capsized and sank a few hours later after being hit by tens of metres of incoming water.
The Sea-Watch charity rescue group reported that they were rescued by a cargo ship after being seen being flown by one of their surveillance planes. They were then transferred to an Italian coast guard vessel and landed in Lampedusa, Italy, according to Reuters news.
According to a statement from Sea-Watch, the survivors reported being present in the crew of one of the sunken boats and carrying sybaritic life jackets. They remained in place in water until they discovered another boat unoccupied after the ship’s failure.
The survivors, who arrived in Lampedusa exhausted and stunned, will be questioned by police, as reported by Reuters.
The interior ministry of Italy has stated that there has been an increase in the number of migrant boats entering the country, which is a major route for hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers and other migrants into Europe, this year.
The number of migrants arriving by sea in Italy has risen to approximately 93,750 from 44,950 in 2022.
The Reuters report, citing a source, stated that the survivors’ shipwreck was probably not one of two that were reported by the coast guard on Sunday.
The Italian coast guard reported that they had rescued 57 individuals and found two bodies.
According to media reports, one of the sunken boats left Sfax on Thursday.