BEIRUT — More than 120 Lebanese and Syrian migrants who were stranded at sea after departing from Akkar, northern Lebanon on Saturday were rescued Monday morning by a Cypriot rescue team, a relative of one of the passengers' told L'Orient Today.
According to the relative, who is from the village of Bebnine, Lebanon, the boat lost contact about 25 miles off the Lebanese coast. Some of the migrants managed to send a message for help before they lost contact, which was answered by a Cypriot rescue team.
Once rescued, the passengers were transported to Cyprus.
Contacted by L'Orient Today, the Lebanese Army had no immediate information. The mayor of Bebnine could not be reached immediately.
Attempts to illegally emigrate from Lebanon have multiplied in recent months. In 2022, 62.2 percent of would-be emigrants from Lebanon were Syrian, 28 percent were Lebanese and 11 percent were Palestinians, according to figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
On Saturday, around 30 Syrians attempting to leave Lebanon by sea were rescued off Chekka, in the north, after their makeshift boat began to sink.
Reporting contributed by Michel Hallak.