SICULIANA, Sicily – A Sudanese man who survived the capsizing of a heavily overcrowded smugglers boat off Libya says the vessel tipped over when fellow migrants heard the voice of approaching rescuers and rushed above deck.
When the boat overturned, Mohammed Ali found himself underneath the hull, but somehow emerged and knew he survived when he "saw the sun." He says he doesn't know how to swim so he couldn't save a friend who perished in the sea.
The 28-year-old was one of 562 migrants rescued Wednesday by the navy, which also recovered five bodies. He spoke to The Associated Press in Sicily Friday outside a center where he and other migrants are sheltered while their identities are checked for their request for asylum.
Ali said smugglers' ignored warnings the boat was overcrowded.