Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.

Saved! Access Favorites in your account profile. Removed from my favorites

This Is Why Mediterranean Shipwrecks Have Killed 700 People In A Week

Photo: Italian navy/AP Images.
NPR is reporting that 700 people have drowned in three separate shipwrecks across the Mediterranean Sea. The boats, which were carrying those traveling from Libya, sank near Italy on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, according to the BBC.

About 100 people are feared dead in the first shipwreck, according to Carlotta Sami, a spokesperson for the United Nations Refugee Agency. She told the BBC that the first ship sunk after passengers rushed to one side after spotting a rescue boat. A second boat carrying 550 people capsized on Thursday, according to USA Today. That motorless boat and being tugged by another vessel. A third shipwreck on Friday cost 45 people their lives, according to NPR.

William Spindler, spokesperson for the United Nations Refugee Agency, told NPR that rescue efforts are underway. Search and rescue teams have saved 14,000 people that were also on the capsized boats.

Most of the passengers were escaping Libya and heading to the southern shores of Italy, according to the Associated Press. These travelers are thought to be both people migrating for economic reasons and refugees fleeing war. The AP also reports that warmer weather and calmer waters have increased the numbers of migrants and refugees fleeing to Europe.