NGO saves 11 boat people – Government says it offered co-operation and assistance

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Eleven persons have been rescued Thursday morning by the NGO, SOS Mediterraneé. The rescue mission was carried out by AQUARIUS. The crew of the Aquarius spotted a boat in dire straits in international waters off the coast of Libya early in the morning.

In a Tweet, the crew said that the boat was small and overcrowded and was taking in water. The passengers were exposed to fuel and no one was wearing a life jacket. These 11 persons are now safely aboard the Aquarius.

In a separate statement, the Aquarius crew said that their call to Maltese, Italian and Tunisian Authorities requesting direction as to what to do with these rescued people, remained unanswered. So far, they are still aboard the ship. Libyan authorities were directly informed before the people were rescued.

Government reaction

In a statement government said that although it is neither the co-ordinating or competent authority, it has offered its co-operation and assistance in this case.

Referring to a letter by members of the LIBE committee of the European Parliament, the Government of Malta reiterated that it has been consistently adhering to its international obligations regarding search and rescue of migrants in the Mediterranean region. “This has been done despite that solidarity was not always forthcoming” said government in its statement.

Government reaction.pdf