Dead woman among 116 asylum seekers rescued at sea by AFM

Italians refuse to send rescue boat because migrants in distress were close to Malta than to Lampedusa.

A group of 116 persons fleeing the civil war in Libya were rescued by two Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) patrol vessels.

The rescue mission was made during the course of the night, when  their boat was adrift in a position 45 nautical miles (NM) south-west of Malta, and 47 NM East of Lampedusa.

The 50-foot wooden boat, laden with Chadian and Somali migrants, was drifting aimlessly after stopping without fuel and with an engine fault.

The AFM’s Rescue and Co-ordination Centre (RCC Malta) at Luqa Barracks was alerted to the occupants’ situation by the Italian Rescue Co-ordination Centre last night at around 21.15hrs. 

An Italian fishing-vessel sighted the persons in distress as they desperately burnt clothes to attract the fishermen’s attention. “Their situation was difficult to assess with the onset of darkness, whilst sea conditions were moderate at the time,” an army spokesperson said.

Italian authorities informed RCC Malta that they would not be sending any of their assets to assist in the rescue, since the boat in distress was located ‘a little closer’ to Malta, than to Lampedusa.

The Maritime Squadron’s P-24 and P-51 patrol vessels were  purposely diverted to the boat location to rescue the persons. By 00.28hrs, both AFM vessels were on location, and began the operation to rescue them and provide humanitarian aid. Their group was made up of 94 males, 18 females, and 4 infants (three babies and a 3-year old boy). AFM personnel also found the corpse of a 29-year old female onboard the stricken boat.

Having rescued all of the persons, the two AFM patrol vessels are now heading back to their Haywharf Base in Floriana, Malta.

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l-Mexxej Laburista qal li qed johrog aktar bic-car kemm l-Unjoni Ewropea kellha biss paroli fil-vojt dwar is-solidarjeta’. Jekk il-Gvern u Lawrence Gonzi huma kuntenti li l-Gvern Germaniz se jiehu mitt immigrant illegali, jien m’iniex kuntent, tenna Joseph Muscat.Huwa sostna li l-Gvern Malti, filwaqt li jirispetta d-dinjita’ tal-bniedem, ghandu l-obbligu li jhares l-ewwel l-interess nazzjonali. Naqbel perfettament ma Dr Muscat li l-interess Nazzjonali jigi lewwel. hawn tara id-tradizzjoni Laburista li jiggieled ghad drittijiet u l-interessi ta Malta . Sewwa ahna inhallsu il-flus ghal banek Irlandizi, Germanizi, Francizi, Griegi u Potugizi, u HUMA jitnelhu u jizzufjettaw bina! GonziPN rega gabna kolonja' helpless' tal-barranin.
These migrants will not stop coming unless someone at the other end stops them from crossing over. They believe there is heaven on earth in Europe and one cannot blame them for seeking fresh pastures to better themselves. Most of them do not want to come to Malta but go to mainland Europe where they are sure to find the initial support to start earning their living and settle there. If we are called to rescue them then its not their fault either if they find themselves on our shores and get transferred to detention centres. On the other hand there is a limit of what a tiny country can take. Sooner or later tensions might be sparked off to the detriment of both the local population and the immigrants themselves. If the EU had in mind when they accepted us as a member state of shoving responsibility and burden on the coastal regions like Malta and Italy then one cannot help wondering what on earth are we doing in this exclusive club.Its up to our Political parties to find a solution but more important its the electorate's duty of this country, through its vote, to question and seek a solution to this ongoing situation.
116 immigrant illegali ohra iddahlu Malta kmieni filghodu! Bkollox finqas min 8days 1116. Qeghdin fi krizi jew le? Ghandna nipprotegu l-Interess Nazzjonali l-ewwel skond kif qal Dr Muscat?
duncan abela
Our gratitude must go to the armed forces patrol who carry out their humanitarian responsibilities efficiently in very difficult conditions. However it is time that we start thinking strategically about this evacuees and immigrationl problem and not treat it piecemeal as situations of immediate danger to the immigrants arise. The Maltese Government must take decisive forward looking thinking to the problem. Some suggestions I propose are. 1. Establish a capping figure to the number of immigrants we can handle with our limited resources and declare that above this figure we will only provide the boats with provisions and support to continue with their journey to mainland Europe. Even hospitals forward you to the next nursing centre if they are full. 2/ Insist that the EU declare it an international crime to provide unsafe boats and allow these reckless journeys by means of sea transport which do not satisfy seaworthiness regulations. 3. Charter a large ship and keep it outside territorial waters so that any spillover of immigrants we must for humanitarian reasons continue to rescuei in our S&R area are not allowed onshore but kept in such a holding station until Europe or the UNHCR decide how to resettle them. 4. Insist that part of the current humanitarian mission in Libya should include pushing back these unsafe boats back and directing them to safety camps in Libya.
A good thing that we have helped them; its to be lauded, but the general feeling amongst us is that we are sinking, and fast! Dr Fenech Adami and the' IVA' brigades never mentioned the 'NO' of Europe in their 'IVA' campaign! Min jara sal- ponta ta imniehru, xi mahta jista jara, mhux x'hemm hames snin-jew aktar il-boghod! Il-leaders vera ma jmexxux ghal gurnata jew sena , imma ghal era shiha. Fenech Adami u GonziPN imexxu ghal voti u gallarija, supost qeghdin diga jaraw 5 snin qabilna jaraw se jigri. Jekk hu hekk suppost qeghdin on 'fast mode' Altru mill 'politics by persuation' ghandna bzonn......u hawn tara id-tradizzjoni Laburista li jiggieled ghad drittijiet u l-interssi ta Malta . Sewwa ahna inhallsu il-flus ghal banek Irlandizi, Germanizi, Francizi, Griegi u Potugizi, u HUMA jitnejku u jizzufjettaw bina! GonziPN rega gabna kolonja' helpless' tal-barranin.