Boat sinks off the coast in Lebanon – One child dead

A migrant boat sinks off the coast in Lebanon – One child drowned and dozens rescued

A child died and 45 people were rescued Saturday after a boat carrying around 60 migrants sank off Lebanon, where deadly sea crossings have spiralled due to an economic crisis.

Boat sinks off the coast in Lebanon

“Forty-five people have been rescued and the corpse of one child,” has been retrieved from the boat that sank near the coast of the northern city of Tripoli, Public Works and Transport Minister Ali Hamie told a local broadcaster.

The UN refugee agency says at least 1,570 people, 186 of them Lebanese, left or tried to leave illegally by sea from Lebanon between January and November 2021.

Most were hoping to reach European Union member Cyprus, an island 175 kilometres (110 miles) away.

The vessel carrying illegal migrants

He said around 60 people were on the vessel carrying illegal migrants out of Lebanon.

“The search is ongoing,” Hamie said.

The Lebanese Red Cross said it had sent 10 ambulances to Tripoli.

The families of some of the passengers gathered to check on their loved ones but they were denied access.

“This happened because of the politicians who forced unemployed Lebanese to leave the country,” said one man waiting for news of a relative outside the port.