After spending the night trying to coordinate with the Rescue Coordination Centres (RCCs) of Malta and Italy, it has become evident that sailing to La Valletta in current conditions would mean to put health and safety of people on board of ALEX in serious risk.
Beyond already difficult conditions, we have also found out that the Italian MRCC would expect the ALEX to take back on board all 41 rescued people in International waters, before entering the Maltese territorial waters and continuing to the port of La Valletta. This would be in complete disregard of any regulation about navigation safety.
Disturbing news are also public in Italian media from reputable sources, which report the existence of an agreement between the Italian and Maltese governments aimed at the seizure of the ALEX and the arrest of our entire crew once in La Valletta. These are acts of retaliation in complete disrespect for the rule of law.
Under these conditions, in full compliance with International law, Maritime conventions and IMO guidelines, we have just repeated our request to be assigned Lampedusa, the nearest safe port, as Place of Safety.