The Maltese Bishops have stated their appreciation for the aid given by the Armed Forced of Malta in the last few hours. A total of 180 asylum seekers were rescued by the Armed Forces of Malta in two separate cases.
In a statement signed by Archbishop Charles Scicluna, Gozo Bishop Mario Grech, and Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi, the Bishops showed their appreciation to the AFM appealing for “a spirit of solidarity with all European countries”. This with the final aim of aid being given to the people who are “still stuck between air and sea”.
The AFM in a statement informed that Patrol Vessel P61 rescued 28 people from a dinghy which was 71Nm South-West of Malta and another 152 asylum seekers from a wooden boat South-South-East of Malta.
The 28 asylum seekers on P61 will disembark at Hay Wharf later on Monday afternoon.
32 asylum seekers rescued by the vessel belonging to Sea-Watch remain without a port of safety since 22 December. Another 17 people rescued by Sea-Eye also remain without a safe harbour to dock and disembark the rescued migrants. Sea-Watch had returned to the search and rescue zone after the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Rome alerted the NGO vessel that a boat with approximately 75 people on board was in distress.
Repeated calls by NGOs have been made to grant a port of safety as imminent rough waters awaited the stranded migrants.
The bishops of Malta have called for concrete action to be taken.