Moroccan Royal Navy has rescued 70 immigrants and is still looking for survivors.
Rabat – An inflatable boat carrying around 94 irregular immigrants of Sub-Saharan nationalities capsized off Nador’s coast, north of Morocco, early on Monday, December 16. Morocco’s Royal Navy has recovered seven bodies and rescued 70 immigrants, while 17 others remain missing, according to a military source.
The survivors, including 10 women and a baby, were in poor health. The coast guard provided them with first aid before transporting them to Nador’s Hassani Hospital.
The Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (MRCC) in Rabat confirmed the incident, as relayed by Alarm Phone, a hotline to support people crossing the Mediterranean.
+++ Shipwreck confirmed +++ At 14.48h CET we spoke to MRCC Rabat #Morocco again who confirmed a shipwreck – 63 people were rescued, 7 people died & 20 people are missing. We believe it’s the boat that alerted us earlier. We are devastated and hope more survivors will be found.
— Alarm Phone (@alarm_phone) December 16, 2019
AlarmPhone contacted both Moroccan and Spanish authorities to notify them of the capsizing boat. Morocco’s Royal Navy was the first to respond.
While Morocco’s strategy to combat irregular migration is considered effective to some extent and has led to a reduction in the number of immigrants in recent years, it seems that there is still room for more improvement.
Former spokesperson of the Moroccan government Mustapha El Khalfi said in August that Moroccan authorities aborted 57,000 irregular migration attempts in 2019.
However, the dream of crossing the Mediterranean for a better future continues to draw thousands of immigrants from Morocco and other countries to their death.
According to recent statistics, nearly 80,000 migrants reached Europe via the Mediterranean in 2019, and over a thousand people died during their migration attempts, coming from both Africa and the Middle East.