About 150 migrants are said to have died, after a rubber boat they were on board sank in the Mediterranean sea, the International Migration Organization (IOM) said on Wednesday.
A presumed sole survivor – a 16-year-old Gambian boy – told rescuers he believed all other passengers drowned.
A humanitarian vessel, the Iuventa, found the boy hanging onto a fuel tank in the sea on Tuesday. He was transferred first to an Italian Coast Guard ship, then to a Spanish frigate and brought to the Sicilian island of Lampedusa early on Wednesday.
“He said that everyone else died. But there’s some hope that the Italian Coast Guard picked up others,” said IOM spokesman Flavio Di Giacomo in Rome, Italy.
“The boy said they left Sabratha, Libya, a couple days ago on a rubber boat with 147 sub-Saharan Africans on board, including five children and some pregnant women,” Di Giacomo said.