47 rescued at sea by AFM

immigrants

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

47 people who found themselves in distress in the southern Mediterranean after fleeing Libya have been rescued by the Armed Forces of Malta and brought to Malta earlier today.

This was confirmed to Newsbook.com.mt by a spokesperson for the Ministry for Internal Affairs.

Their situation was detailed in a series of tweets by Alarm Phone, which provides a hotline for those finding themselves in distress while embarking on the dangerous sea journey to Europe. It explained that the 47 had set sail from the Libyan city of Zuwara, to the west of Tripoli, but they were far from a safe haven when the boat’s engine gave way. No life-boats were available, and at one point people on board reported water entering the boat.  

Light aircraft Moonbird, operated by German non-profit Sea-Watch, flagged the boat’s position some 63 nautical miles south of Lampedusa, in Malta’s search-and-rescue region, prompting the AFM to send a rescue vessel.

Alarm Phone  said that the 47 had been in distress at sea for over 40 hours before being rescued. It noted that no life-boats were available, and at one point people on board reported water entering the boat.

Newsbook has sought comment from the AFM, but no reply has yet been forthcoming.

Earlier today, NGO rescue ship Open Arms berthed in Pozzallo with 363 people on board, with the NGO stating that it headed to the Sicilian port after Malta’s repeated refusal to allow the ship to disembark.