11/10: 43 people, including 125 women and 10 children, caught in a storm, rescued to Malta

<b>Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – October 11th 2020</b>

<i>Case name</i>: 20201011-CM308

<i>Situation</i>: 43 people caught in a storm, left at sea for more than 48 hours, rescued to Malta

<i>Sta…

<b>Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – October 11th 2020</b> <i>Case name</i>: 20201011-CM308 <i>Situation</i>: 43 people caught in a storm, left at sea for more than 48 hours, rescued to Malta <i>Status of WTM Investigation</i>: Concluded <i>Place of Incident</i>: Central Mediterranean <i>Summary</i> In the evening of October 11th a relative alerted Alarmphone to a boat in distress carrying 43 people, including 25 women and 10 children. We contacted the boat and received GPS coordinates; people on the boat informed us that water had started entering their vessel and weather conditions were worsening. We forwarded the distress call to authorities in Malta at 22.35 CEST, the operator took the phone number of people on the boat and their position but refused to confirm that MRCC Malta was taking responsibility for coordinating a rescue. The call was followed up by an e-mail with all available information to relevant authorities. We were unable to reach the boat directly throughout the evening and night. When asking confirmation from MRCC Rome at 00.50 CEST that they had received our e-mail, they informed us they were currently unable to read their mail and refused to take responsibilty for coordinating a rescue. Finally at 07.49 CEST October 12th people on the boat called us and relayed an updated GPS position, which we forwarded to authorities. People on the boat informed us their boat had stopped moving due to very bad weather conditions. The phone line kept breaking during calls, making communication difficult. At the same time, it was basically impossible to reach authorities in Malta who were responsible for coordinating a rescue in this case. At 09.20 CEST we received an updated GPS position and forwarded it to authorities. At 09.43 CEST authorities in Malta finally answered our call, but confirmed the reception of our e-mail only. Throughout the remainder of the morning and afternoon we were unable to re-establish contact to the boat in distress which was facing a storm that would have been lethal, with very strong winds (25kn) and waves up to four meters high. This was 14hours after our first alert to authorities. At 17.12 CEST MRCC Malta answered our call, stating that they had neither been able to establish contact with the boat. Again, the operator refused to confirm that an asset had been sent to the latest known location of the boat. Our attmepts to communicate with the so called Lybian coast guard did not provide any news on potentially ongoing rescue operations. When calling authorities in Rome at 21.12 CEST the operator told us to call authorities in Malta instead. When doing so at 21.16 CEST the call was answered but the operator refused to confirm a rescue operation was ongoing. We had lost contact to the boat at 12.34 CEST. In the morning of October 13th we contacted authorities via e-mail, requesting to be updated on any information available on the case. By 16.46 CEST none of the authorities contacted had replied to this request. We remained unable to establish contact to the boat throughout the day. Later that evening, we received information from a journalist that the Merchant Vessel ALK of Lubeca Marina was engaged in a rescue operation matching this distress case. We tried to contact the ship owner company. All phone calls remain unanswered. We sent an e-mail at 21.40 CEST requesting an update on the reportedly ongoing rescue operation. We did not receive any news throughout the night, until MRCC Malta confirmed the rescue was ongoing at 07.30 CEST October 14th. At 08.30 CEST the ship owner company confirmed to us that their vessel ALK had been ordered to shelter the boat in distress from waves by MRCC Malta. By midday we learn that the people were rescued and disembarked in Malta. Without public pressure, they might have disappeared or been brought back to a Libyan prison. Twitter Chronology October 11th 22.49 CEST https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1315394152499118081 October 12th 01.21 CEST https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1315432468514844673 08.19 CEST https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1315537404477005826 08.45 CEST https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1315543979102998529 10.54 CEST https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1315576515241926656 13.03 CEST https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1315609133329068033 15.32 CEST https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1315646572223434752 15.48 CEST https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1315651502430707717 18.17 CEST https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1315688084495794176 October 13th 16.44 CEST https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1316027148956659712 22.53 CEST https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1316119781272059906 October 14th 12.20 CEST https://twitter.com/alarm_phone/status/1316322943304171520

This post was originally published on Watch the Med.


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" » 11/10: 43 people, including 125 women and 10 children, caught in a storm, rescued to Malta." Watch the Med | Refugee Watch - Monday October 12, 2020, https://www.refugee.watch/2020/10/12/11-10-43-people-including-125-women-and-10-children-caught-in-a-storm-rescued-to-malta/
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» 11/10: 43 people, including 125 women and 10 children, caught in a storm, rescued to Malta | Watch the Med | Refugee Watch | https://www.refugee.watch/2020/10/12/11-10-43-people-including-125-women-and-10-children-caught-in-a-storm-rescued-to-malta/ | 2021-11-29T18:31:58+00:00
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