The spokesman for the Libyan Navy, Masoud Abdelsamad, denied that the coastguards stood idly by or did less than its best to rescue the Italy-bound immigrants who drowned off the Libyan coast this week.
Abdelsamad told reporters that the Libyan coastguards tried to take up the rescue mission of the immigrants despite bad weather conditions, saying they had sent a boat from Al-Khums city shores after receiving a distress call.
"We feel sorry for the loss of the immigrants' lives. The wind was strong and the sea waves were very high as well. The rescue operation was next to impossible in such unfortunate circumstances." Abdelsamad added.
He indicated that the Libyan coastguards had rescued another boat that had on board 106 immigrants, saying that two bodies were also recovered from the seashore and that the coastguards started looking for the capsized boat in the same night and on the second morning, but bad weather conditions got in the way
At least 130 immigrants drowned off Libya's coast two days ago when their boat capsized at sea as they were taking the perilous journey to Italian islands off Libya's coast.