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Rescue Operation Underway After Migrant Boat Capsizes Off Libyan Coast

So far 367 people have been rescued, and 25 bodies have been found at sea.

Originally posted on
Updated on

An operation was underway Wednesday to rescue several hundred migrants whose boat capsized off the coast of Libya, the Irish Navy confirmed to BuzzFeed News.

The Associated Press reported that the Irish naval ship, called Le Niamh, had recovered at least 367 migrants, 13 of whom were children. Rescuers found 25 dead bodies in the sea.

Le Niamh was one of seven rescue vessels that responded to the scene. Doctors Without Borders' Dignity I and an Italian boat also contributed to the effort.

Survivors of the boat's overturn told the AP that anywhere between 400 and 600 migrants were aboard the vessel. The number has been difficult to confirm because there may have been a large number of migrants in the hold of the boat, which sunk shortly after it capsized.

Agence France-Presse reported that the Dignity I and Le Niamh ships began approaching the migrant vessel when those on board began grouping on one side of the boat, causing it to capsize.

A representative of the Save the Children Fund told BuzzFeed News that the Irish Navy was still on scene about 20 miles off the coast of Libya, several hours after the initial incident.

Tamerra Griffin is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Tamerra Griffin at tamerra.griffin@buzzfeed.com.

Felipe Araujo is the overnight homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Felipe Araujo at felipe.araujo@BuzzFeed.com.

David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.

Contact David Mack at david.mack@buzzfeed.com.

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