Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 55,918 in 2019; Deaths Reach 929

IOM reports that 55,918 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through 11 September, roughly a 30 per cent decrease from the 77,528 arriving during the same period last year.

Arrivals this year to Greece and Spain are at 30,755 and 15,798, respectively, (46,553 combined) accounting for almost 83 per cent of the regional total, with the balance arriving in much smaller numbers to Italy, Malta and Cyprus. Arrivals to Greece are running approximately 47 per cent ahead of 2018’s totals from this time. Arrivals to Spain are more than 50 per cent lower.

Deaths recorded on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through almost seven months of 2019 are at 929 individuals – or about 51 per cent of the 1,828 deaths confirmed during the same period in 2018.

The 929 deaths at sea do not include several in the past two weeks of several dozen people that were documented on sea routes to Spain. On 29 August, a boat carrying 32 people from the coast of Dakhla to the Canary Islands capsized. Nine survivors were rescued by the Moroccan Navy, but tragically 23 people lost their lives. The remains of only one person were recovered from the sea, which means that 22 people remain missing.

A few days later, on 3 September, two young Algerian men were rescued from waters 40 miles south-east of Cabo de Gata, Almería. They reported that they had left Algeria five days before along with 15 others, but their boat capsized. Spanish authorities activated a search and rescue operation but have not found any further survivors. These 15 people remain missing at sea.

On 1 September, a 16-year-old Moroccan teen died of cardiac arrest at a hospital in Ceuta. He was found unconscious at the port of this Spanish enclave in North Africa. He died shortly after arriving at a local hospital. Authorities surmised the victim was trying to hide inside a ferry bound for the Spanish mainland. In the Eastern Mediterranean, a 65-year-old Syrian woman died in a hospital in Samos shortly after being found unconscious inside a boat intercepted by the Greek coastguard near Kokkari, Samos on 6 September.

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