Libya Refugee Ship Sinks, Hundreds Feared Dead
Vessel had 600 crammed aboard
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2011 4:30 PM CDT
Foreign evacuees look out from the deck while waiting to disembark an Albanian ferry that evacuated refugees, Thursday, April 28, 2011. A refugee boat carrying 600 sank off the coast of Tripoli.   (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

(Newser) – A ship carrying 600 refugees fleeing from war-ravaged Libya has sank outside Tripoli, the BBC reports, and several hundred are feared to have drowned. The overcrowded boat, one of thousands of questionable vessels currently evacuating refugees, broke apart Friday, and the UN's refugee agency said today that 16 bodies had so far washed ashore. "There were a lot of distressed people on the quayside," says a spokeswoman, who says that hundreds are still missing.

The "treacherous journey" has now claimed "hundreds if not more than a thousand people," the UNCHR spokeswoman said. "We are calling on all ships in the Mediterranean—whether commercial, military, or otherwise—to be extra vigilant and consider on sight that these boats are in distress and needing rescue,"