Another rescue operation was successfully carried out on Saturday morning. The vessel Alan Kurdi of the German NGO Sea Eye carried out another rescue operation Saturday morning, taking in 13 survivors (including eight minors) from an overloaded wooden raft. The operation took place in the Maltese search and rescue area, and the volunteers duly notified all of the coordination centers in the area.
In the afternoon, they set sail toward Lampedusa and remained on standby at the edge of the Ionian Sea, 13 miles off the island. In the evening came a decision by the Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini, banning the ship from entering into Italian territorial waters, which was then sent to the Ministers of Infrastructure and Defense for signing.
The other German NGO operating in the Mediterranean, Lifeline, had its own ship, the Eleonore (only 20 meters long), stuck at the edge of Maltese territorial waters for a full week, carrying the 104 migrants they rescued on Aug. 26.
Gerald Karl, one of the crew members, described the degrading conditions on board in an interview with Nordbayern.de published on Friday: “We are doing everything possible, but we don’t have enough space for them to sleep lying down. There is only one bathroom for everyone. During the day, as the sun is beating down and with the lack of wind in recent days, the people are camped under a blue plastic tarp on the upper deck. It is difficult to walk from bow to stern during the day without stepping on anybody, and at night it’s impossible.
“The youngest of the survivors is 13, the oldest is around 30. Because they were held in Libyan prison camps, there are many cases of scabies, many signs of mistreatment and older injuries from gunshot wounds. Naturally, some of the rescued are traumatized.”
Karl also told the story of how the rescue took place: “We were actually looking for another boat that night, and we just happened to be in that corner of the sea when we found these people at the last minute. Their boat was already sinking, one chamber was flooded and the side wall was being supported by hand from the inside. Another chamber became flooded during the rescue. At the end, a ship from the Libyan Coast Guard showed up, but we needed to draw the sinking boat alongside ours to conduct the rescue.”
On Monday, at around noon, the Eleonore finally docked in Pozzalo, Sicily, and the 104 migrants were allowed to land, after the ship’s captain had declared a state of emergency during the previous night due to an impending storm, which made conditions aboard the ship unsafe.
While the castaways aboard these ships are suffering unnecessary cruelty, other migrants continue to land in Italy, completely unbothered by the “closed ports” policy that Salvini is boasting of, and which Luigi Di Maio is still defending, even though the yellow-green alliance is now over.
On Saturday morning, 46 Algerians landed in Sulcis, on Sardinia, taking advantage of the favorable weather conditions: 33 of them disembarked on the beach of Porto Pino, in the municipality of Sant’Anna Arresi, around 7pm. At 8:45 came the second landing, in the port of Sant’Antioco, where the police detained 13 Algerians. All were transferred to the reception center in Monastir.
Also on Saturday, four Tunisians landed on the coast close to Linosa.
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