LAST NIGHT EMERGENCY’S SEARCH AND RESCUE SHIP LIFE SUPPORT
CARRIED OUT A RESCUE IN INTERNATIONAL WATERS
ASSIGNED TO THE BRINDISI POS, SCHEDULED TO ARRIVE ON FRIDAY MORNING
7 March 2023 – Late last night, EMERGENCY’s search and rescue ship Life Support received a report of a boat in distress in international waters off Libya. The ship’s captain immediately informed all relevant authorities and activated the rescue team.
“We received a report from Alarm Phone and alerted the relevant authorities of our intention to go and verify the potentially dangerous situation. The distressed vessel, made of rubber and about 12 metres long, could no longer sail because the engine had stopped working. It had serious structural problems and was taking on water. An extremely dangerous situation for navigation and for the 105 people onboard. Moreover, the sea conditions were worsening,” said Emanuele Nannini, EMERGENCY’s Project Coordinator on board Life Support. “We immediately thought of the victims of the Crotone shipwreck. This was also a boat in a dangerous situation, where people were risking their lives because of the terrible conditions. We are here to help those facing one of the most dangerous migration routes in the world. Women, children, men continue to be killed by the absence of legal and safe channels to reach Europe. It is a duty to rescue them.”
The RHIBs were lowered at approximately 4am and the transfer to Life Support was completed at around 7am.
A total of 105 people were rescued. They consisted of 59 men, 17 women (one of whom is seven months pregnant) and 29 minors (25 unaccompanied). The people rescued come from Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Gambia, Sudan, Cameroon, Mali, Mauritania, Sierra Leone, Chad, Eritrea and Burkina Faso.
After completing the rescue operations and informing the authorities, Life Support requested a Place of Safety (POS) where the rescued people could disembark. The Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre assigned the port of Brindisi, with arrival expected on Friday morning.
“Once all the rescued people were onboard Life Support, we carried out an initial assessment of their general health conditions and they seem to be good,” explains Roberto Maccaroni, SAR Health Officer. “In the next hours, we will start more in-depth examinations. Priority has been given to a pregnant woman in her seventh month; no signs of a pregnancy at risk have emerged.”
Life Support – which has a 27-person team onboard, including crew members, doctors, mediators and rescuers – is on its third mission in the Central Mediterranean. It rescued 142 people in the first mission and 156 in the second mission.