Record 2,900 migrants die on the way to Europe in 2016 – report

© Marina Militare
Almost 2,900 migrants have died while crossing the Mediterranean to Europe this year, making the first half of 2016 the deadliest on record, according to the latest report from the International Organization for Migration.

The 2,899 victims represent a 50-percent jump in the number of those dying making the sea trip from the same months in 2015, when 1,838 drowned or went missing. The year before that, the figure was even lower, standing at 743 people.

“We’ve had almost 3,000 people dead which is really alarming,” Joel Millman, spokesman for the IOM, told Reuters.

“Europe’s done a remarkable job; they’ve saved thousands of lives this year alone. But almost 3,000 people dead means they’re not doing everything that needs to be done,” he added.

The central Mediterranean route to Italy has proven to be the most dangerous, claiming almost 2,500 lives.

All in all, 225,665 migrants arrived in Italy, Greece, Cyprus, and Spain by sea during the first half of 2016.

This time last year, the number of arrivals was just over 146,000, the IOM said.

READ MORE: Mural of drowned Syrian toddler vandalized in Germany

The latest figures come a day after the tragic death of 10 women, who drowned in a rubber boat off the coast of Libya. At the same time, an Italian ship saved hundreds of other migrants, according to the Italian coastguard, as quoted by Reuters.

A few days ago, the Italian navy recovered a ship that sank in April of 2015. The death toll from that disaster stands at about 800.