At least 60 people feared dead from small boat crossing in Mediterranean

A migrant is rescued from a dingy in the Mediterranean Sea.
A migrant is rescued from a dingy in the Mediterranean Sea. Credit: SOS Mediterranee via AP

At least 60 people are thought to have died during a small boat crossing in the Mediterranean Sea, according to survivors rescued by a humanitarian organisation.

SOS Mediterranee said on Thursday its Ocean Viking vessel saved 25 people, who were found floating on a deflating rubber dinghy.

Almost all of them were found to be in a serious condition, exhausted, dehydrated and with burns from fuel onboard the boat.

A spokesman for the charity said the survivors were all male, 12 of them minors, and from Senegal, Mali and The Gambia.

Accounts from some of those rescued said the boat, which had departed from Libya more than a week ago, initially set off with 85 people onboard - including some women.

All survivors are receiving medical care. Credit: SOS MEDITERRANEE

The motor broke sometime after departure, survivors said, cutting them adrift for more than a week.

Humanitarian organisations often rely on accounts of survivors when determining the numbers of dead and missing at sea.

The United Nations (UN) International Organisation for Migration says 227 people have so far died attempting to make the same crossing in the Mediterranean this year.

A total of 19,562 people, meanwhile, have arrived in Italy using that route in the same period.

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