This past week, 111 people (and probably many more) died after a boat ran into trouble and sank between Africa and Italy. There were 155 survivors. The boat was only about 600 metres from shore when it met its tragic end. The passengers on this boat were attempting migration to Europe. These attempts are not rare:
"Thousands make the perilous crossing each year, seeking a new life in the prosperous European Union. Smugglers charge thousands of dollars a head for the journey aboard overcrowded, barely seaworthy boats that lack life vests. Each year hundreds die undertaking the crossing." (Toronto Star, Article By: Luca Bruno Andrea Rosa Associated Press, Published on Sat Oct 05 2013)
In addition to feeling sad for the many victims of this tragedy, I have concern for the plight of all the people who board these boats. How bad are their lives in the countries from which they come? How dim do their prospects appear? What makes it seem worth the risk to pay the money and crowd onto these dangerous boats?
It would be good, if it were possible, to improve the safety of these boats. Perhaps that should be attempted. It wouldn't address the reasons though why people board them. It wouldn't address the desperate situations in the countries these people leave behind. A tragedy like this can bring to our attention that people in some countries live in terrible conditions. We can then consider what actions may be taken to change that.
Whatever happens in the future, this tragedy has taken place. I feel bad for all those who lost their lives. I am very sorry that their dreams ended as they did.