At least 148 bodies from migrants' capsized boat have been found off the coast of Egypt

At least 148 bodies from migrants' capsized boat have been found off the coast of Egypt
Source: AP
Source: AP

After a boat carrying as many as 600 migrants and refugees en route to Europe capsized Wednesday off the coast of Egypt, by Friday, 148 bodies had been retrieved from the Mediterranean Sea by the Egyptian coast guard.

The boat capsized approximately 12 nautical miles from the Egyptian port city of Rosetta. 

The boat's capsizing could potentially become one of the deadliest tragedies involving migrants fleeing to Europe via waterways.

So far, citizens from Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia, Syria and Ethiopia have been identified as traveling in the fatal boat, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 

Approximately 150 people have been rescued, with search efforts continuing. 

Many of those who survived found themselves detained by Egyptian law enforcement once on land, with some being handcuffed to their hospital beds. 

Egyptian rescue workers bring the body of a drowned migrant ashore from the water.
Source: 
Eman Helal/AP

"We are deeply concerned at reports that hundreds of people may be missing at sea," UNHCR spokesperson Matthew Saltmarsh said, according to the Guardian.

"Events like this highlight the importance of rescue operations as part of the response to the movement of refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean and the need for real, safer alternatives for people needing international protection," he added. 

As for what those alternatives look like, they include investments in longterm and sustainable solutions, Marwa Hashem, UNHCR's Assistant Public Information Officer in Cairo explained in an interview.

"The safe alternative is actually addressing the route causes: opening resettlement in these countries, refugee family reunification, scholarships and access to education, for example," she said.

Affording basic human rights — such as education — to vulnerable populations would inhibit the need to flee, many policy advocates argue. And, for those migrants and refugees who have already fled, education is a necessity for avoiding poverty and promoting social inclusion in the countries they've resettled in.

Hashem said she was encouraged by Monday's adoption of the New York Declaration, a commitment made by 193 countries during the U.N. General Assembly meetings to safeguard migrants and refugees who are fleeing their home countries. 

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Natasha Noman

Natasha is a News Staff Writer covering global affairs. She previously reported on regional affairs from Pakistan. Natasha is based in New York and can be reached at natasha@mic.com.

MORE FROM

New White House communications director Scaramucci says press briefings should be on-camera

If the new White House communications director gets his way, the press briefings could soon be recorded once again.

At least 8 dead, 30 injured in locked tractor trailer outside Walmart in Texas

Authorities told press that the deaths were caused by "a human trafficking crime."

Amid new revelations, here’s what we’ve learned about the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr.

The picture of Natalia Veselnitskaya is coming into clearer focus.

Republican Senator urges whoever leaked Russia/Sessions phone calls to release whole conversation

Sen. Chuck Grassley wants the person who leaked intelligence about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to come forward with more information.

Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort now to testify before Senate committee behind closed doors

Trump Jr. and Manafort have avoided a subpoena and will testify behind closed doors — for now.

Hope Hicks reportedly tried to rein Trump in during explosive ‘Times’ interview. It didn’t work.

The low-profile Trump Whisperer is one of the few in the president's orbit to enjoy job security.

New White House communications director Scaramucci says press briefings should be on-camera

If the new White House communications director gets his way, the press briefings could soon be recorded once again.

At least 8 dead, 30 injured in locked tractor trailer outside Walmart in Texas

Authorities told press that the deaths were caused by "a human trafficking crime."

Amid new revelations, here’s what we’ve learned about the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr.

The picture of Natalia Veselnitskaya is coming into clearer focus.

Republican Senator urges whoever leaked Russia/Sessions phone calls to release whole conversation

Sen. Chuck Grassley wants the person who leaked intelligence about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to come forward with more information.

Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort now to testify before Senate committee behind closed doors

Trump Jr. and Manafort have avoided a subpoena and will testify behind closed doors — for now.

Hope Hicks reportedly tried to rein Trump in during explosive ‘Times’ interview. It didn’t work.

The low-profile Trump Whisperer is one of the few in the president's orbit to enjoy job security.