Cartagena migrant tragedy

File photograph

FIVE BODIES of migrants believed to have originated from sub-Saharan Africa have been found off the coast of Cartagena.

The gruesome discovery was made by a merchant ship, the Baltic Wave, who then called the coastguard. They were then ordered to remain in the area until the rescuers arrived, but the operation ended up as one of recovery.

Being that the raft containing the victims was at least 70 miles out to sea, it took some two-and-a-half hours for the emergency services to reach the scene where they found the bodies in an already decomposed state, making initial assessments as to how long they’d been floating at sea impossible.

Rather than remove the five deceased from the vessel, the coastguard preferred instead to tow the sailing boat back to the port of Cartegena where they arrived back in the early hours of Saturday morning at Santa Lucia Pier.

Many thousands of sub-Saharan migrants attempt the highly dangerous crossing to Europe every year on barely-seaworthy and overcrowded crafts, and many do not make it to dry land. Another five have now suffered this fate.