Migration, two more tragedies
VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – At least two more tragedies occured in the Maltese search and rescue zone with at least seven Sub-Saharan migrants confirmed dead. The bodies were lifted by the Italian Coast Guard who managed to rescue tens of others. Meanwhile, a Tunisian fishing boat rescued a group of migrants and it is reported that on board there are three bodies being escorted to Lampedusa.
More migrants are leaving the Tunisian port city of Sfax by boat in search of reaching Italy. Between last Friday and Saturday, over 2,000 Sub-Saharan migrants arrived in Lampedusa which is 180 nautical miles away.
Around 78 migrants onboard a 12-metre rubber dinghy were rescued by the Emergency’s Life Support ship in the Maltese Search and Rescue area. The rubber dinghy was overcrowded and adrift, with no possibility of using the engine because it had run out of petrol. The dinghy was already damaged and they were all exhausted and dehydrated.
“The rescued people traveled for more than 20 hours without food and water,” said a nurse on board the Life Support research vessel. “The vessel was in international waters in the Maltese search and rescue area. Malta, despite having been informed immediately, did not coordinate the rescue activities or offer a safe port of disembarkation,” said Emanuele Nannini from the NGO Emergency.
While the Italian authorities instructed the NGO to proceed to the port of Brindisi as a place of safety, many other boats in distress, south of Lampedusa have been left without any other support intervention.
Ngo Sea Watch said that its reconnaissance aircraft found 17 boats in distress in the central Mediterranean. Many are built of sheet metal, some of them unable to maneuver without a running engine. Sea Watch added that all the boats location were forwarded to the Maltese rescue coordination center but have not received any response so far. It also said that contact was made with the Libyan rescue coordination center, but no one was able to speak English.
Ngo Alarm Phone declared that vast rescue efforts are needed as tens of boats with migrants on board are leaving from Tunisia. The Ngo said that it is unable to reach the majority of boats while trying to establish which arrived, been intercepted, or capsized.
– photo Agenziafotogramma.it –