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Thursday, 3 November 2016 - 7:10am

Rubber dinghy capsized off of the North African coast with bad sea conditions.

On Wednesday 2 November Save the Children’s search and rescue ship was called to help Norwegian navy ship Siem Pilot and a merchant vessel in the recovery of survivors and dead bodies after a rubber dinghy capsized off of the North African coast with bad sea conditions.

29 people were rescued along with 12 bodies, but as the rubber dinghies usually carry many more people on board the number of drowned or missing people could be much higher and the team along with other forces involved are still carrying the search on into the night.

Roger Alonso, Save the Children’s team leader on the Vos Hestia said: “This is yet another tragic reminder that when there are no safe and legal routes, people will die at sea.

“The EU should provide safe and legal routes into Europe such as resettlement, humanitarian visas and increased flexibility in family reunification processes, which all should ensure minimum standards of protection, especially for children.

“More people have drowned so far this year than all of last year making 2016 the deadliest year on record for those crossing the Mediterranean. This loss of life highlights the importance of search and rescue operations to prevent people losing their lives at sea. ”

For interviews or more information, please contact the Save the Children press office on +44 (0)207 012 6841 or media@savethechildren.org.uk

Photos and footage of Save the Children’s search and rescue operation can be found here: http://storycentral.savethechildren.org.uk/?c=40474&k=ceec27291d