Updated | Five asylum seekers airlifted to Malta by US Navy [VIDEO]

Five migrants arrive in Malta after being airlifted by US Navy aircraft following big-scale rescue operation

An infant was among the five migrants rescued
An infant was among the five migrants rescued
Photo: AFM
Photo: AFM
Photo: AFM
Photo: AFM
Photo: AFM
Photo: AFM
Photo: AFM
Photo: AFM
Photo: AFM
Photo: AFM

Five migrants have arrived in Malta after being airlifted by a US Navy aircraft following a rescue operation involving Malta, Italy and the US military which involved 25 migrant boats at sea simultaneously.

The migrants, including a child, a woman and three men  were transferred to Mater Dei Hospital from the US warship, using its onboard V22 Osprey Aircraft.

The aircraft landed at the Malta International Airport with the five migrants where an awaiting ambulance transferred the migrants for further medical treatment at Mater Dei Hospital.

The AFM said it was actively contributing to one of the largest aero-naval search and rescue operation that unfolded in the Mediterranean over the past years.

The search and rescue operation saw the involvement of a number of Italian Navy/ Coast Guard vessels ,US Navy warships, all the merchant vessels in the area as well as three AFM patrol vessels and an AFM Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

It is understood that the migrants who were saved at sea will be taken to Italy.

The AFM Offshore patrol vessel P51 at one time, saved 103 migrants, 13 of whom were females and one baby, after their dinghy deflated and all the persons on board ended up at sea.

Later on, these migrants were transferred onboard P61 where initial help was provided to the rescued migrants and it was established that three migrants saved by the Maltese servicemen required medical assistance .

The crews of the USS Bataan and USS Elrod rescued 282 people from a sinking vessel and five other small vessels that were in distress in the Mediterranean Sea Friday.

According to a press release from the U.S. Navy, the USS Bataan and the USS Elrod responded to a report of six small vessels in distress after an Italian military marine patrol spotted them around 3pm Friday.

Two MH-60S Seahawk search and rescue helicopters launched from the Bataan to investigate the report and confirmed one of the vessels was sinking. The helicopters lowered rescue swimmers to the vessels and began extricating people from the water.

Three rescue boats from the USS Elrod and USS Bataan were also deployed to assist in the rescue.

Rescue crews transferred 277 people from the six vessels to the Bataan where they were provided with food, water, medical assistance and temporary shelter. Five others were taken to Malta for immediate medical attention, according to the release.

Yesterday, the Italian Navy said that it had saved over 2,500 migrants at sea over the previous 24 hours.

The Navy said it rescued a total of 17 migrant boats that had departed from the coast of North Africa. They were saved as part of the the Mare Nostrum (Our Sea) Rescue Operation that Italy launched after around 400 people were killed on two migrant-boat disasters in October.

After the Navy statement, the Italian Coast Guard said it had rescued another 300 people in a boat in trouble some 42 miles south of the Sicilian island of Lampedusa.

Furthermore, a merchant ship rescued 94 more and was taking them to Catania. Italy is having trouble managing after a massive increase this year in the already big flow of migrants who attempt the hazardous crossing from North Africa to Italy.

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