Shipwreck in the Ionian Sea, three bodies recovered: 11 survivors, 55 missing


By John

Four people have died from the shipwreck in the Ionian Sea (including recovered bodies and a woman who arrived dead). For the rest of the 55 missing, the hopes of being identified dwindle as the hours pass. While the 11 survivors landed in Calabria“confused and traumatized” according to the mediators who are assisting them in the various hospitals, mourn the death of their loved ones.
Like the thirty-year-old Kurd who lost his wife and his 4-month-old daughter. Or Nadine, 10, asking for her parents and crying. They are not yet in a position to be heard by the police who, coordinated by the Locri prosecutor’s office, are investigating what can be configured as a negligent disaster.
The Coast Guard sent the Dattilo ship and two patrol boats to search the area where the sailing ship which had left 8 days earlier from the Turkish coast and had begun to take on water in the Greek SAR area after the engine explosion was still floating. In total, 4 bodies were recovered. Frontex air assets also carried out reconnaissance. Coast Guard personnel inspected the half-sunken hull, still floating, without finding anyone.
The few survivors clung to the part of the boat that surfaced for hours, before a passing French merchant ship responded to the ‘may-day’ call and intervened to take them on board. Too late for a woman who died shortly after. And for around 55 people, including at least 26 children, who disappeared under the waves.
Some of the castaways reported boats passing near the sailing ship in difficulty without stopping. We will see what emerges after the migrants, mostly hospitalized, are interviewed by the investigators from the Siderno police station and the Reggio Calabria flying squad, who are trying, say investigative sources, «to understand what happened and how it happens for each landing, even more so if there has been a disaster, probably negligent.”

There are also teams from Doctors Without Borders and Emergency to assist the people who have disembarked. «The people who survived – says Cecilia Momi of MSF – are still very confused. All of them are hospitalized in various facilities in the area and do not yet realize which of their family members is alive and who has died at sea. Entire families have been destroyed. There are those who have lost their wives, those who have lost a son, a husband, a friend or a nephew. They are all in a state of strong psychological and physical trauma. Many of them have severe sunburn, a sign that they probably spent several days under the sun.”
And the bishop of Locri-Gerace, Monsignor Francesco Oliva, makes himself heard. «What is happening – he asks – to our world? How is it possible to continue to witness these tragedies of the sea that are repeated every day? How is it possible to still tolerate these journeys of death, where those who die are human beings who try to escape situations of hunger, war, denied rights and, often, it is children who die? There is so much anger and indignation. These tragedies are happening before our eyes. Yet nothing moves. Our humanity is adrift. We need a leap of humanity.”
The Minister of the Interior, Matteo Piantedosi, meanwhile, was in Gorizia, where he took stock of another migratory route, the land one through the Balkans. Since the suspension of the Schengen Treaty with the restoration of border controls with Slovenia on 21 October, he reported, “422 thousand people and more than 224 thousand vehicles have been checked; 1,800 illegal foreigners have been rejected and 190 people have been arrested of which over 90 for aiding and abetting illegal immigration.”