Tag Archives: Foscari

Malta Rejects UNHCR Suggestion that Malta Failed to Carry Out SAR Obligations

The Times of Malta reports that the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) and Maltese SAR authorities have rejected what they characterised as the “impression conveyed” by a UNHCR spokesperson that “Maltese SAR authorities abdicated from their responsibilities and did not cooperate with the relevant Italian authorities” in connection with the search for and subsequent rescue of 44 migrants on board a disabled boat on 9-10 November.  The migrants were rescued by the Italian Navy ship Foscari and transported to Sicily, not to Lampedusa or Malta which were the two closest ports.

The AFM statement reported by the Times of Malta outlines in detail the Maltese response to the distress call from the migrant boat and Malta and Frontex’s participation in the air and sea search.  The AFM statement said that “[t]he decision for the Italian Navy vessel Foscari to take the rescued migrants to an Italian port in Sicily was the result of Italian insistence that Lampedusa does not represent a place of safety for the disembarkation of migrants, despite it being a mere four hours from the position where the persons were rescued.  Under the relevant legal regime applicable with the Malta SRR, the persons should have been disembarked in Lampedusa which, despite declarations to the contrary, represented the nearest place of safety.”

Click here for article.

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Filed under Frontex, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mediterranean, News, UNHCR

Migrant Boat Rescued by Italian Navy – Migrants to be Transferred to Sicily

The Italian Navy vessel Foscari rescued 44 migrants last night from a disabled boat that is believed to have departed from Libya about 4 days ago.  Maltese media reported that the Italians wanted to disembark the rescued migrants in Malta due to the earlier decision of Italian authorities to close Lampedusa for search and rescue purposes.  However Adnkronos news is reporting that the Foscari is taking the rescued migrants to Augusta, Sicily.

The first satellite phone distress call from the migrant boat was reportedly made when the boat was located within the Libyan SAR.  The migrant boat was finally sighted by an Italian fishing boat last night within the Maltese SAR.  The Italian Navy vessel Foscari rescued the migrants.  A Somali woman and her newborn infant who was born on the migrant boat were flown by helicopter to Lampedusa for medical care.  The remaining 42 rescued persons will now apparently be disembarked in Augusta some time tomorrow.  16 August was the last time a migrant boat reached Italy from Libya.

UNHCR issued a statement saying it was “grateful that the Italian navy took this initiative despite the fact that the boat was in Maltese search and rescue waters.”

Click here (EN), here (EN), here (IT), here (IT), and here (IT) for articles.

Click here for UNHCR statement.

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Filed under Frontex, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mediterranean, News, UNHCR