45 migrants in wooden boat off Maltese SAR Zone

Rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIB) of the German NGO Sea-Eye migrant rescue ship 'Alan Kurdi' rescue migrants claiming to be Tunisians from a small wooden boat in the central Mediterranean Sea, August 31, 2019. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

Around 45 migrants which include women and children, are currently in distress on a wooden boat within the Maltese Search and Rescue area, Alarm Phone has warned.

The migrant emergency hotline announced the situation on their Twitter page this morning that they had received the call just before 9AM this morning.

According to an update from AlarmPhone, the 45 people on board had already been at sea for two days. Among those on board are a pregnant woman. She is described as ‘bleeding and needs rapid medical attention. They all lack drinking water. A rescue operation must be launched immediately!’

AlarmPhone says that they have duly contacted the Maltese authorities.

A spokesperson from the Armed Forces of Malta confirmed that they had been informed about the vessel and it was indeed within the Maltese Search and Rescue Zone.

They added that they are currently in the process of gathering more details and that a helicopter and patrol vessel had been dispatched to the scene.

They could not confirm at this time if Malta would be taking responsibility for the rescue.

This story will be updated…