HUFFINGTON POST
05/31/2016 09:31 am ET

Mediterranean Waters Claim At Least 880 Refugee Lives In One Week

Over 2500 people have died trying to cross the sea this year.

GENEVA (Reuters) - At least 880 migrants and refugees died trying to cross the Mediterranean last week, the United Nations refugee agency said on Tuesday, giving updated figures after interviewing survivors brought to Italy.

This year is "proving to be particularly deadly" with 2,510 lives lost in shipwrecks and capsizing, against 1,855 in the same period in 2015, UNHCR spokesman William Spindler said.

"At the moment (smugglers) are packing people on boats that are barely sea-worthy and many cases are not meant to make the crossing. What happens is as soon as they depart from shore they call for rescuers and then rescue services come and rescue them," Spindler told a news briefing.

"It's a race against time to get there before the boats sink, in some cases it gets there too late."

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