‘Is Europe worth this trouble?’ Mourners gather after at least 60 people died when migrant boat capsized

World

On the coastline of southern Italy, a small group gathered at the water’s edge.

They could not go any further into the Ionian Sea although they clearly wished they could.

“Is Europe worth all this trouble, I swear to God it’s not,” says a man called Setar.

“Why put your wife and children through this?”

Setar Sheke asked 'is Europe worth all this trouble?'
Image:
Setar Sheke asked ‘is Europe worth all this trouble?’


Coast guard footage of the boat after it had capsized
Image:
Coastguard footage of the boat after it had capsized

Two men mourn at the water's edge
Image:
Two men mourn at the water’s edge after the tragedy

The shock is real, the feelings raw after the deaths of 60 or more migrants in the central Mediterranean.

A sailboat packed with migrants capsized and sank, pitching its passengers into the water.

They clung to the remains of the semi-submerged craft some 120 miles from the Italian coast but assistance – in the form of the coastguard – took four days to arrive.

More on Italy

Only 11 managed to survive the ordeal.

Smugglers organised the journey from a place near Bodrum in Turkey, using a well-used migration seaway through the Mediterranean.

It took the Italian coast guard four days to respond
Image:
It took the Italian coastguard four days to respond


Only 11 people survived the incident
Image:
Only 11 people survived the incident

More than 70 paid for a spot in the vessel, with the majority formed by Kurds from Iran and Iraq.

Some passengers told their relatives that they would travelling “like VIPs”, but that was just a lie spun by the smugglers.

There were few provisions on board.

We found a woman called Mitra Ghasem Karimi, sitting under the hull of an old boat in the Italian port of Roccella Ionica.

It was clear that Ms Karimi had been crying.

Originally from Iran, she now lives in the Swedish capital of Stockholm. She told me that her brother Pourya, 41, and sister Somma, 36, had boarded that craft.

Mitra Ghasem Karimi said her brother and sister were both on board the ship
Image:
Mitra Ghasem Karimi said her brother and sister were both on board the ship

Mitra spent €6000 cash to hire a helicopter to search for any sign of her brother and sister or the boat they were travelling on
Image:
Mitra spent €6,000 cash to hire a helicopter to search for any sign of her brother and sister or the boat they were travelling on

Mitra sat under hull of an old boat in the Italian port of Roccella Ionica
Image:
Mitra sat under hull of an old boat in the Italian port of Roccella Ionica

She said: “There was no water, there was no food in the boat – but to the families and the people who got in that damn boat, (the smugglers) said yes, there is water, food.

“My brother and sister had life jackets, but they would not let them take them with them. Why?”

Mitra and her husband said they wanted to hire a helicopter so they could fly over the remains of the vessel. I asked them what they were expecting to see.

She replied: “Maybe some bodies, maybe I can find the body of my own brother and sister, to find the bodies and take them to my mum, so my mum can mourn.”

Mitra had stowed her brother and sister’s Iranian passports securely in her bag, and she burst into tears as she took them out to show me.

“They just wanted a better life, the people who got into that boat. Why can’t they have that life in their country, their damn country?” she said.

Read more from Sky News:
Hollywood legend Donald Sutherland has died
Filipino soldiers fight off ‘armed’ Chinese coastguard
Putin’s Asian charm offensive arrives in Vietnam


Follow Sky News on WhatsApp
Follow Sky News on WhatsApp

Keep up with all the latest news from the UK and around the world by following Sky News

Tap here

It took the best part of a day to hire a helicopter – along with 6,000 Euros in cash – but Mitra did not find the bodies of her brother and sister.

Her siblings remain lost at sea.

But she has recordings of their voices stored on phone and she has hovered above the waters where they lost their lives.

It may have brought her a small measure of peace.

Articles You May Like

New football regulator and branded school uniform limits – the key announcements
Biden campaign insists he will remain Democrat presidential candidate for US election
The CrowdStrike fail and next global IT meltdown already in the making
Tory party announces date new leader will be revealed
Man charged after bus set on fire during Leeds riots as five more arrested