17-year-old Survivor Tells of Panic During Mediterranean Rescue

Calloused and stained, Baboucar Lowe's hands tell the story of a difficult life, one that nearly ended at 17 when the rubber dinghy he was on deflated within sight of a rescue ship, drowning dozens of migrants trying to reach Europe.
They also bear the sign of survival: A number drawn on his dark skin marks him as one of 91 people pulled to safety aboard a Maltese freighter as a crew member captured the panicked rescue on video.
Speaking to the Associated Press a day after arriving in Italy, Baboucar recounted the moment when more than 100 people aboard the deflating dinghy tried to clamber up ropes onto the ship and dozens were swallowed up by the sea.
"They tried to get up to the big boat but they could not do it," he said of Sunday's tragedy. "Some people, they could not swim."
According to Baboucar, the dinghy left Libya with 137 people on board. Only 91 were rescued and five bodies were recovered. The other 41, including the captain, presumably drowned.



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