Pressroom > Press Releases >

Life Support: 69 People Rescued in Three Operations

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Two more rescues were carried out this morning, 8 October, by EMERGENCY’s search and rescue ship Life Support which, after the first rescue of 21 people on 7 October, brought another 48 people to safety. In total, 69 people were rescued in the three operations.

At 9.00, Life Support concluded the rescue of 21 people on a boat adrift in international waters, in the Maltese SAR zone. The boat, made of wood and with a broken engine, left Zwara, Libya, at 20.00 on 6 October.

At 10.30 Life Support completed another rescue in the Maltese SAR zone of 27 people who left Sfax, Tunisia, and had been sailing since yesterday evening on a vessel that was taking on water.

The first report this morning came from Alarm Phone. After receiving authorisation from the Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (MRCC) to carry out the rescue, Life Support mobilised to reach the vessel which was on the route to Livorno, the Place of Safety (POS) assigned after the first rescue. The exact position of the vessel was confirmed by Sea Bird, Sea Watch’s aircraft.

The second boat was spotted by the EMERGENCY team on the bridge; Life Support therefore requested authorisation to intervene. This second rescue also took place en route to the Livorno POS.

“We have recently completed the rescue operations of a third vessel on this mission. A small wooden boat in great distress left Sfax with 27 people on board,” commented Emanuele Nannini, Life Support Head of Mission. “Shortly before, we had carried out a second rescue of a wooden boat that left Libya a few days ago with 21 people on board, including women and children. In total, we now have 69 survivors on board from three different rescue operations. The last two took place in coordination with the MRCC of Rome, which was aware of the cases and supported us during the rescues.”

Of the 48 people rescued today, four are women and 12 are unaccompanied children. They come from Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Sudan, South Sudan, Tunisia: all countries affected by war, political instability, economic crisis and environmental disasters.

On the morning of 7 October, Life Support completed the rescue of 21 people in the Libyan SAR zone, coming from Libya, Morocco, Egypt and Syria. Among them are four women and six accompanied children.

“The operations were all successful, and so far there are no critical medical cases on board. We are now heading to Livorno, the port assigned to us yesterday,” said Domenico Pugliese, Captain of Life Support.

Life Support continues towards the assigned POS, making itself available to the authorities for further rescue.

“We have resumed navigation towards Livorno, but we continue to check the surrounding waters in case there are other boats in difficulty,” concluded Nannini.

Life Support is EMERGENCY’s search and rescue vessel and has been operational in the Central Mediterranean since December 2022. Life Support has so far rescued 1,080 people in thirteen different missions.