Mediterranean #4

16 / Mar / 2019 20 / Mar / 2019

Mission Logbook

The Mare Jonio of Mediterranea Saving Humans, an Italian-flagged ship engaged in a monitoring mission in the central Mediterranean, rescued, 42 miles off the Libyan coast, 49 people who were on board a broken-down dinghy taking on water.
The alert had come from the Moonbird reconnaissance plane of the NGO Sea Watch, which warned of a boat adrift in international waters.

Mare Jonio headed towards the reported position and, having informed the Italian Coast Guard operations centre, carried out the rescue in compliance with the requirements of international human rights and maritime law and the Italian navigation code.

Following the procedures provided for in these cases and in order to avoid a tragedy, Mare Jonio rescued all the people on board, informing a Libyan patrol boat that had arrived on the scene to rescue them and started to complete the operations. Among the people rescued, 12 were minors.

The people on board had been at sea for almost two days and, although their health conditions are quite stable, they are all very tired with dehydration problems. Mediterranea's medical staff is providing assistance.

The Mare Jonio is currently heading towards Lampedusa, the nearest safe harbour to the area where the rescue was carried out. Meanwhile, a strong disturbance is arriving in the central Mediterranean.

We have formally asked Italy, our flag state and the state under whose legal and geographical responsibility it falls, for an indication of a port of disembarkation for these people.

Today we have saved the lives and dignity of 49 human beings. We have saved them twice: from shipwreck and from the risk of being captured and brought back to suffer again the torture and horrors from which they were fleeing. Every day, in silence, many more suffer this fate. Thanks to our extraordinary crews on land and at sea, to the tens of thousands of people throughout Italy who supported us, today that sea was no longer just a cemetery and a desert.

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