Tunisia coastguard rescues 48 migrants from sinking boat

Tunisia’s coastguard has rescued 48 Tunisian migrants whose boat began sinking as they tried to reach Italy by sea, the interior ministry said Saturday.

A patrol spotted the vessel on Friday night off Jebeniana, 210 kilometres (130 miles) south of Tunis.

The 9 metre craft “was sinking after taking on water”, the ministry said in a statement.

The passengers were all Tunisians aged 16 to 40, from the governorates of Medenine and Sfax, it added.

Tunisians regularly try to cross the Mediterranean to seek a better future in Europe, but departures peaked last September.

According to NGOs, the uptick reflected frustration among young people hard hit by unemployment.

In October, a collision between a migrant boat and a Tunisian military ship left at least 44 dead, in what Prime Minister Youssef Chahed called a “national disaster”.

Source: today.ng

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