Migrant boat with 86 on board sinks off Tunisia, 4 rescued

Zarzis (Tunisia): More than 80 migrants have gone missing after their boat capsized off Tunisia. Only four could be rescued, Tunisia’s coast guard confirmed.

The boat sank on Wednesday off the port town of Zarzis as it was crossing from Libya to Italy. Fishermen pulled four men from the sinking boat, said Lorena Lando, the agency’s head in Tunisia. One of the four died later in hospital.

A government source said the survivors, said the survivors, who were rescued nine miles (14.5km) off Zarzis, informed coastguards they had set out from Libya and that dozens had drowned.

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The three Malians who survived said that they had set out from Zuwara in Libya.

One of the rescued migrants told Reuters that the boat had taken three hours to sink as it filled with water.

The four who were rescued survived by holding onto some wood that they had extracted from the boat.

“We, four people, sat on the wood,” the man said. “The waves are hitting us. We had two days of that – sitting on that piece of wood.”

“There were a lot of dead people,” he added.

The country is the main departure point for migrants hoping to reach Europe. Libya has been torn by violence and division since long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi was deposed and killed in 2011.

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