The “Mare Jonio” rescued 49 people from a shipwreck: now Italy must indicate a safe haven!
The “Mare Jonio,” a ship flying an Italian flag and run by “Mediterranea Saving Humans,” has rescued 49 people on a rubber boat in distress while engaged in a monitoring mission in the Central Mediterranean, 42 miles off the Libyan coast. The warning, alerting to a boat adrift in international waters, came from the spotter plane “Moonbird,” run by the NGO “Sea Watch.”
The “Mare Jonio” headed toward the reported position. After informing the Italian Coast Guard it has performed the rescue according to international human rights law, maritime law, and the Italian navigation code.
Complying with the established procedures for such cases and with the aim to avoid a tragedy, the “Mare Jonio” has rescued all the people on board. It has reported to have finalized the rescue to a Libyan vessel that arrived on site while the operation was ongoing. 12 among the rescued people turned out to be minors.
People on board were at sea for almost two days, and although health conditions seem quite stable they are all exhausted and with problems of dehydration. The medical staff aboard the “Mare Jonio” is taking care of them.
The “Mare Jonio” is currently heading toward Lampedusa, which means toward the closest safe haven in the area where the rescue was performed. Meanwhile there is a heavy storm coming in the Central Mediterranean. We formally asked Italy, our flag state and the state legally and geographically responsible, a port of disembarkation for those people.
Today we rescued the life and dignity of 49 human beings. We rescued them twice: from shipwreck and from the risk to be captured and taken back to suffer again the tortures and horrors from which they were fleeing. This is something that happens everyday in silence. Because of our amazing crews at sea and on land, as well as because of the tens of thousands people that supported us in Italy, the Mediterranean today is not anymore just a graveyard and desert.