More than 100 migrants were rescued on Monday after drifting for hours in the central Mediterranean when their rubber boat’s engine failed.
The Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms responded to the migrants’ distress call and found their dinghy drifting in the choppy waters about 36 miles off the Libyan coast.
The 112 migrants were rescued by Proactiva lifeguards aboard the former fishing trawler ‘Golfo Azzuro’ around noon on Monday, and told rescuers their engine stopped working sometime the previous evening.
“I was so afraid, I thought I thought that today I’m going to be… to live in this sea,” said Bob Di, a migrant from Liberia.
The 112 migrants included two pregnant women and five children.
A record 5,000 migrants are believed to have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea this year, and figures from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) show 358,403 migrants and refugees had entered Europe by sea in 2016 up to and including December 21, 2016, and arriving mostly in Greece and Italy.