Boat carrying people capsized between Malta and Libya – Sea Watch

Sea Watch

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

One of the four boats carrying asylum seekers has capsized, Sea Watch said in a tweet on Sunday. The humanitarian organisation working in civil search and rescue announced on Twitter that Frontex spotted the four rubber boats which were most likely the ones Alarm Phone had reported about. One of the four boats had capsized. It is not clear how many people were on board.

Sea Watch said that it has to be assumed that several had drowned since there was no knowledge of interception or rescue.

‘One of them capsized, we have to assume that it sank with people on board, since there is no knowledge of a rescue or interception,’ the NGO said.

Migrant hotline Alarm Phone shared a a flight track of a Frontex aircraft from Sunday which appears to match with the boats in distress which the NGO had alerted all relevant about. Alarm Phone urged the governments to stop watching and start rescuing.

Earlier on Sunday, Partit Nazzjonalista has called on the government to rescue the vulnerable individuals on board the boats reminding it of its international obligations. The government has recently announced that the ports were not safe and that the Maltese authorities could not guarantee rescue at sea of boats in distress. Italy and Libya also closed off their ports to migrant landings amid the coronavirus pandemic.

‘We are close to death’

In a separate tweet, Alarm Phone said that the migrants on board of one of the boats which is in Maltese Search and Rescue region and therefore the responsibility of the Maltese Government have begged to be saved reporting that some individuals have lost consciousness.

“We are so tired, the situation is like hell. The boat lost so much air, water is coming inside. We are dying. No water, no food. Some people lost consciousness. Come save us please. We are close to death,” the people in distress reportedly told the NGO.

101 individuals make it to Sicily on board a dinghy

101 individuals have disembarked in Pozzallo after taking the journey from Libya. The men were disembarked around 1pm on Sunday and have been subjected to screening over coronavirus concerns. The Mayor of the Sicilian city said that since a 15-year-old Egyptian migrant had tested positive for coronavirus, the new arrivals could not go to the usual reception centre.