Libyan Red Crescent: Tending to migrants who don't survive their journey

02 November 2015
Libyan Red Crescent: Tending to migrants who don't survive their journey
Libyan Red Crescent Society retrieve a body from the water. © Libya Red Crescent / Malek Mohammed Mirsit

Since the beginning of this year, 2,860 migrants are thought to have died in the Mediterranean after setting off in smugglers' boats from the Libyan coast towards Italy. Volunteers from the Libyan Red Crescent Society are left to deal with the decaying and bloated bodies when they wash ashore.

Working with scant support or equipment the 10 volunteers who make up the LRCS Tripoli team have salvaged almost 100 corpses since mid-September.

"The bodies usually reach the beach a day or two after a boat goes down, when the wind blows them back to the land," explained LRCS information officer Malek Mohammed Mirsit. "The coastguard or local fishermen phone to tell us when they see pieces of wreckage or bodies in the water but, because we don't have a boat, we just have to wait for the wind and waves to carry them to the land."