The tragic episode of the migrants on Sunday night will go down in history as the worst that ha ever occurred in the Mediterranean. The worst because it is not the first to happen. After the overthrow of the regime of Gadhafi and the Arab spring, hundreds of desperate people take to the seas in search of European coasts. Exploited by traffickers who are on the payroll of heinous criminal and fundamentalist organisations, they venture into dangerous journeys that too often turn into catastophies. February 16, 2011, a boat disappeared carrying about 200 immigrants. A few days later, on March 14th, a boat carrying some 40 Tunisians sank. Only five of them managed to escape, the ones who knew how to swim, climbed onto another boat heading for Lampedusa. To tell the details of the tragedy are the same survivors who had landed. Three of the survivors were taken to the doctor’s surgery. The vessel would capsize immediately after departing from Zarzis in Tunisia. Between the nights of 29th and 30th March, a boat transporting 17 immigrants diparte from Libya and sank off Lampedusa. The 6 survivors were to narrate how 11 of their companions were to drown while sailing.
And as though this were not enough, 4 days later, on April 3rd, the bodies of 70 people were retreived off the coast of Libya, a few miles from Tripoli. The victims are estimated to be a little less than 250, and the tragedy occurred on 6 April of the same year. A boat capsized carrying about 300 people, Only 51 people were saved more than 12 hours following the tragedy. On May 8 2011, five hundred and twenty-seven refugees heading for Lampedusa were saved in estreme dire conditions after their boat had stranded off on the rocks and was baout to capsize. However three youths did not make it and died before reaching the shores. Their corpses were retreived trapped under the boat at Cala Francese: two immigrants die drowning, one was crusche, on 1st August, 25 migrants, all men and not yet thirty, die of asphyxiation in the holdb of the boat that left from the Libyan coast for Lampedusa. The bodies wee discovered by Coast Guards after the transhipment of migrants.
And yet another drama, October 11th, 2012: thirty-four migrants, seven of whome were children and 11women, were shipwrecked at 70 nautical miles off the coast of Lampedusa. The vessel on which they were sailing overturned while migrants were waving about hoping to be noticed by a reconnaissance helicopter. In 2013, August 10th, six people drowned near the beach promenade of the Catania Plaia, near the green Lido, while they attempted to reach the shore. The boat, which had washed upshore about 15metres from the coast,was carrying more than 100 migrants, rescued by police and Coast Guards, they were transferred to the port of Catania for identification and relief aid. On 3rd October of that year, off Lampedusa, 366 migrants die in a shipwreck. July 19, 2014, further about 18 people die from suffocation always off the coast of Lampedusa. The latest episodes have been recent: 13 April a dinghy-boat capside of the coast of Libya -9 died and 144 were brought into safety.
Translation provided by Marina Stronati