Mediterranean boat death toll 'will rise considerably'

Irish navy ship the LE Niamh is en route to Palermo in Italy this morning with almost 400 rescued migrants on board.

The survivors were pulled from the waters of the Mediterranean yesterday when their boat sank on its way from Libya to mainland Europe.

It is understood the ship went down instantly when migrants rushed to one side to be rescued.

The exact death toll is uncertain as the rescue operation is still ongoing, but it is feared that up to 300 people may have drowned.

Commander Brian Fitzgerald from Naval Headquarters says the death toll is expected to rise.

"We can say for certain that the LE Niamh recovered 25 deceased people from the water," he said.

"But if the figures are 700, what we don't have is a tally yet of the number of people who have been rescued or recovered on board other vessels that were operating in the area and assisting with the rescue and recovery operation.

"Until such time as we get that we can't be sure, but we can be certain of one thing - that the death toll is going to rise considerably."

More on this topic

WATCH: Camerawoman sacked after tripping fleeing refugeesWATCH: Camerawoman sacked after tripping fleeing refugees

Hillary Clinton: Global effort needed to help refugeesHillary Clinton: Global effort needed to help refugees

Confusion remains around numbers of refugees expected in Ireland

Angry migrants march on BudapestAngry migrants march on Budapest

More in this Section

Man, 60s, killed in Tipperary hit and runMan, 60s, killed in Tipperary hit and run

July 11 bonfires set to be lit at midnightJuly 11 bonfires set to be lit at midnight

Summer Provision to be extended to primary school students with special needs Summer Provision to be extended to primary school students with special needs

Two further Covid-19 related deaths, Department of Health confirmsTwo further Covid-19 related deaths, Department of Health confirms


Lifestyle

Dr Martin Coyne, a GP based in Donegal, takes Catherine Shanahan through one of his work daysWorking Life: Dr Martin Coyne, GP, Co Donegal

A Spielberg classic, a host of Premier League ties and Romesh Ranganathan in the Sahara are among this weekend's top picksWeekend TV Highlights: Premier League action, The Voice Kids, and Romesh Ranganathan

Contents from two Cork houses at Woodward's auction, says Des O'SullivanOnline sale with socially distant viewing at Woodward's

Des O'Sullivan previews Fonsie Mealy's timed online collector's saleCork silhouettes, a massacre and a landmark of Irish printing

More From The Irish Examiner