At 23:45 on 10 October, EMERGENCY’s search and rescue ship Life Support completed disembarkation at the port of Livorno of the 69 people rescued in three separate operations carried out between 7 and 8 October.
“We are in the port of Livorno, where yesterday evening the disembarkation of the 69 people that we rescued in three different operations ended,” commented Emanuele Nannini, Life Support Head of Mission. “The disembarkation took place without complications, thanks also to the cooperation of the local authorities to whom we had provided all the information needed to keep families together and to look after vulnerable cases. Unfortunately, sailing to Livorno took us several extra days, delaying our presence in the Mediterranean; the sea is a graveyard along the deadliest migration route in the world, in part due to the lack of a European search and rescue mission.”
The first distress case was reported by Alarm Phone following a sighting by Colibri, the aircraft operated by Pilotes Volontaires; the second again by Alarm Phone; and the third was spotted by the EMERGENCY team on the bridge of the ship. The operations were coordinated by the Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) and the two carried out on 8 October were on the ship’s route to Livorno, the Place of Safety assigned by the MRCC after the first rescue.
The 69 rescued people come from Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Syria, Sudan and South Sudan, as well as Libya and Tunisia. All countries plagued by war, violence, political instability, economic crisis, environmental disasters and food insecurity, and confirming that Libya and Tunisia are not and cannot be considered safe countries.
“I am from the city of Hama, Syria. I left because of the difficult living conditions and political situation,” says a 27-year-old man. “Because of the war, when a young man comes of age he is obliged to serve in the army for several years, usually ten. I left because I did not want to become a soldier, I wanted to finish my studies in law. I have completed my third year of law school and I would like to study European law and work in the legal field in Europe. It was not easy to get here and I am sure there will be more difficulties once I arrive in Europe, but I am determined to achieve my goal and I do not want to lose hope. In Syria, we call Europe ‘the place that preserves human dignity and respects fundamental human rights.’ I just want to live in peace and freedom, supporting my family as much as I can and repaying Europe for its welcome.”
Among the rescued are 6 women, 6 accompanied children and 11 unaccompanied children.
“During navigation we continued our medical assistance activities on board,” commented Roberto Maccaroni, Life Support‘s Medical Coordinator. “In particular, we assisted a man burnt by a mixture of fuel and salt water, we examined a minor suffering from very extensive and painful shingles, and we also examined a young boy with infected wounds from a recent trauma in Tunisia.
With this disembarkation, EMERGENCY’s ship Life Support concludes its thirteenth mission.
“On this mission we rescued people from many different countries, from North Africa to the Middle East and also from some sub-Saharan African countries,” commented Giulia Galati, Cultural Mediator on board. “Although there were many different cultures, lifestyles and personal stories on board, everyone got along very well and we spent the days sailing in an environment of solidarity and friendship. I felt this from the moment we carried out the second rescue, when I saw that the people from the previous rescue were hugging and helping those who had just arrived. Over the course of the voyage this atmosphere has only strengthened, new friendships have been formed and it is a beautiful thing to see, especially at a difficult time like this when rescued people have little security other than that of finally being safe.”
At sea since December 2022, Life Support has rescued 1,080 people.