(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
The Italian Navy found a boat that sank on April 18, 2015 near Libya’s coast with roughly 700 migrants on board fleeing to Europe.
Once the boat is brought up to the surface it will be taken to a refrigerated storage facility in Augusta, Italy, announced the Italian Navy on Wednesday.
The boat was making it’s way to Lampedusa, Italy before it sank. A UN refugee agency reports that the boat sank after some passengers flipped the boat accidentally as they tried to get the attention of another boat passing by.
169 bodies were recovered by rescuers but hundreds more are yet to be found. One of the survivors reported that the smugglers had locked hundreds of refugees in a lower deck as the boat sank.
Italian officials said they would give the bodies recovered a proper burial.
2015 has seen the highest number of deaths of migrants making their way to Europe. The International Organization for Migration has reported over 3771 have died attempting to make their way across the Mediterranean Sea last year.
More than 2500 deaths have been reported so far for 2016 by the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR).
Despite the statistics migrants continue to invest thousands of dollars to be smuggled over to Europe in difficult and risky conditions
Last year millions escaping war-torn countries and oppression from Africa, the Middle East and other parts of Asia made the treacherous trip across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe seeking a better life.