“The boat may be the same sinking vessel that was detected earlier in the day by Alarm Phone, a group of Europe-based activists who take calls from stricken asylum seekers and refer their coordinates to coastguards.
Alarm Phone took a call at 8.45am CET from a boat of refugees in waters north of Zuwara, reporting that a second boat was sinking nearby, though the group said: “It is difficult for us to know for sure that this is the same shipwreck.” Nevertheless, the group believes those they spoke to were Syrian – the first sign since the start of the EU-Turkey deal that Syrians are beginning to use Libya as springboard to Europe.
An activist with Alarm Phone said: “The guy we were speaking to was Syrian, and he said that most of the people on the boat were Syrians and Iraqis. The people around him were talking in a Syrian dialect, mostly north-eastern Syria. Additionally, we are monitoring Facebook pages in Arabic and we are witnessing lately that there are a lot of people arriving in Libya and willing to go to Europe.””Guardian: Dozens feared dead as migrant boat capsizes in Mediterranean