Yesterday, the boat carrying around 250 people is reported to have capsized 50km (30 miles) north of the Libyan coast in stormy seas and high winds. Libyan officials say 21 people are confirmed dead and 23 rescued. A second boat with around 350 migrants was rescued, an official from the IOM told the Associated Press news agency. The IOM's Laurence Hart said the rescued boat and all of its passengers were now safely back in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.
"Rescue was quick because they were near an oil platform that notified the Libyan coastal guards who quickly rescued the migrants," he said.
The missing boat is believed to be in the same area. Coastguards are looking for two other boats, which reportedly left for Italy in recent days. "This is the typical route for migrants from Libya to Italy," Mr Hart said. More than 200 African migrants (Egyptians, Tunisians and Palestinians) are feared dead after their boat sank off the coast of Libya, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) says.
Tens of thousands of migrants attempt to reach Europe by sea every year.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres expressed his "great sorrow, a global phenomenon in which desperate people take desperate measures to escape conflict, persecution and poverty in search of a better life". Hundreds of migrants have died in the last few months crossing the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa to Europe, and the Gulf of Aden from Somalia to Yemen. They are at the mercy of unscrupulous smugglers, unseaworthy vessels and the elements but many take these risks for the lure of a better life.
Can Open_Sailing have a role in these migrations?
Our floating living thing could either be used to live on; but also by rescue people, or national migration authorities against illegal migration. And it is getting very politiical... So, let's not get into this yet...