Tuesday, June 17, 2008

IL SILENZIO DEL MARE

The Egyptian authorities announced today that on 7th June a boat carrying about 150 clandestini [would-be illegal immigrants to Europe] was wrecked off the coast of Libya. The boat was trying to reach the shores of Italy. 40 passengers are known to have drowned and at least 100 are missing. Two survivors, a Bengali and an Egyptian, have stated that the other passengers were mainly from Morocco, Algeria and Bangladesh and that teenagers are among the dead. One has also said that each passenger paid the equivalent of $2000 to partake in this voyage of doom.

A UN spokesperson in Italy has pointed out that the number of bodies of these poor souls now being found in the Sicilian Channel indicates that there are far more tragic shipwrecks than we know about and has referred to the "silent" tragedies of the sea.

EU help in this situation is again being requested.

Yesterday morning 27 clandestini managed to reach the shores of Sicily from a boat wrecked off the southern coast of the island. A further 87 were saved by the Italian coastguard. 28 Somalis who had hung on to the side of the sinking boat were saved by an Italian fishing vessel.

Source: Il Giornale di Sicilia [unavailable online].

I have just read that another boat carrying 52 clandestini, among them 5 women, has been saved 27 miles off Lampedusa. Last night a boat carrying 72 was intercepted.

Meanwhile weather conditions worsen in the Sicilian Channel, with the sea at Force 4 and likely to increase plus a Force 6 south-easterly wind.
There but for the grace go all of us....





12 comments:

Lord James Bigglesworth said...

Imagine what they are fleeing from. Appalling.

CherryPie said...

I think it is so sad that people feel so desperate to go to these lengths to escape...

mutleythedog said...

Its terrifying and awful. They have to be given help to stay home and make alife there.. in the meantime we need to properly invest in saving them.

Crushed said...

I might have said this before, of I have tell me, but it always strikes me people are too concerned with stopping them coming, and not in asking why people risk their lives to flee the land they have known all their lives.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

That's just the trouble, James. We cannot imagine. I agree, cherrypie. Mutley, they have to be given help, yes. But no one country can take them all. Totally agree, Crushed.

jmb said...

The sad thing is that to chance it must be better than staying.
I hope this news reaches where they are coming from and give them some pause.

Nunyaa said...

Terribly sad, it has to be nothing but hell either way.

kissa said...

These stories are so often in the news and each and every one is a tragedy for these desperate people fleeing from things that we can't imagine.

Sean Jeating said...

Nothing to add but: Munck's Scream is a whisper compared il silencio del mare.

Book Owl said...

Very sad and always considered to be someone else's problem, never our own

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, jmb. Yes, that is the saddest thing of all. Hi, nunyaa. Yes, it is just awful. Ciao, kissa. Yes, it is so difficult for us to imagine. I agree, Sean. you are absolutely right, Book owl.

Ellee Seymour said...

It's pot luck where you are born, we would try our best to escape to a new and civilised life if we were in their shoes.

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