54 migrants die of thirst trying to reach Italy

Migrants on a ship illustration 
By: Eva Fett 

Many people try escaping from their homeland to seek out a better future for their family. However, sometimes, the adventure ends in tragedy.

A total of 54 migrants died while trying to cross from Libya to Italy.

The immigrants died of thirst after two weeks on a boat, the United Nations Agency for Refugees, or UNHCR, said in a statement.

A sole survivor was rescued. Guards at the coast of Tunisia found the refugee in an advanced state of dehydration after being discovered by local fishermen.

The man, an Eritrean national, said he had left Libya for Italy with a group of immigrants, but the
boat was thrown around by strong winds after nearly reaching the Italian coast.
The migrants began suffering from dehydration so they drank sea water until they died of thirst, he said.

According to UNHCR, since early 2012, some 1,300 migrants have landed in Italy by sea, and 170 have died trying to reach Europe.
Last year, 50,000 people landed in Italy, after North Africa and the Middle East fell into political uncertainty, and hundreds were lost at sea while trying to cross into Europe.