At least eight people drowned and dozens more are missing after a rubber dinghy sank Saturday in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, according to reports.
The migrant boat left Garbouli, east of the Libyan capital of Tripoli, with more than 100 people on board, a Libyan military official said.
Eighty-six were rescued Saturday after an Italian Coast Guard plane spotted the faltering vessel while on patrol for smugglers.
Dozens of people aboard the boat are missing, according to Spanish humanitarian group Proactiva Open Arms. The eight confirmed victims were all female, Italian Coast Guard Cmdr. Sergio Liardo told TV channel RaiNews24.
Liardo said the dinghy apparently deflated from a puncture. The dinghy was half-submerged when rescuers found it, according to Italian news agency ANSA.
About 20 people were found aboard the boat. Authorities vowed to search for survivors through the night.
It’s believed to be the first migrant boat to sink in the Mediterranean this year. Some 3,100 people died attempting to cross in 2017.
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