An infant and a 20-year-old man were found dead Saturday morning after a migrant boat sank off the coast of Tunisia, near the southeastern port of Gabès, the country’s coast guards reported.
According to a statement from the National Guard, the boat, which was carrying 20 Tunisian migrants, sank just 120 meters (390 feet) from the beaches of Gabès. Thirteen individuals were rescued, and search efforts are ongoing to locate the five who are still missing.
The prosecutor’s office has initiated an investigation into the causes and circumstances of the incident, the statement further detailed.
Gabès port is located approximately 140 kilometers from Sfax, a point of departure for many of the Mediterranean crossing operations toward Europe.
This recent incident adds to the increasing number of casualties in the Mediterranean’s perilous waters. Just a few days ago, 41 migrants were believed to have drowned after setting off from Sfax, the Italian Red Cross and rescue groups said. Four survivors were rescued.
This tragedy underscores the ongoing migration crisis in the region, with many taking risky journeys in the hope of reaching European shores in search of a better life.