MSF: Two women died of hypothermia as 730 migrants were rescued off Libyan coast

Rescue workers recover the body of a migrant on a beach in the coastal town of Tajoura, east of Tripoli Sunday. | REUTERS
Rescue workers recover the body of a migrant on a beach in the coastal town of Tajoura, east of Tripoli Sunday. | REUTERS

Two women died of hypothermia during an operation to rescue more than 730 migrants off the Libyan coast, the Italian coast guard and medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres said on Sunday, AFP reported.

It added that the women were found unconscious in a large dinghy in the Mediterranean that was partly deflated and taking on water.

“Devastatingly, two women died of hypothermia despite huge efforts from the Aquarius team. We are heartbroken, again,” said MSF on Twitter, referring to the Aquarius rescue boat chartered by themselves and another charity, SOS Mediterranee.

Five large inflatable dinghies and five smaller boats were rescued during the operation, which took place over a 24-hour period Saturday to Sunday, according to the AFP.

Among those rescued were several families with young children from Aleppo, Syria’s war-torn second city. The rescued migrants were en route to Italy on Sunday.

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