31/03: 80 people coming from Libya, arrived after long non-assistance on Lampedusa

<b>Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 31st of March 2021</b>

<i>Case name</i>: 2021_03_31-CM399

<i>Situation</i>: 80 people started from Libya and called Alarm Phone when they were in Maltese SAR zone, RCC Malta denied responsibility the whole time until travellers reached Italian SAR zone, the Italian Coastguard brought them to Lampedusa

<i>Status of WTM Investigation</i>: Concluded

<i>Place of Incident</i>: Central Mediterranean

<i>Summary of the Case:</i>

Shortly before midnight on 31st of March 2021 Alarm Phone was called by a group of travellers. They told us they were 80 people onboard, many minors, no women and all from Somalia or Etopia. The GPS position they gave to us was located in Maltese SAR zone, the boat was heading to Lampedusa. According to the people the situation onboard was urgent. We immediately called RCC Malta, which was pointless as they didn’t take the phone. We informed them and the NGO Pilote Volontaire via email. We stayed in contact with the travellers the whole night and received updated GPS position which we forwarded to the possible rescuers. At 02:49h on 1st April we published the first tweet and at 8h the travellers stated to be very exhausted and the kids onboard need help urgently. The GPS positions we received in these hours showed that they nearly didn’t move forward. The aircraft of Pilote Volontaire had very likely spotted the boat, it was drifting, and informed the authorities about it. When we called MRCC Rome they clearly said they are not responible. The travellers told us they were dying from hunger, the situation was tense. We spotted a merchant vessel not far away from the boat, the SIDER RODI, and successfully got in contact with the company. They agreed with us to call Malta for orders. When they came back to us we had to realise that Malta was denying that there is any distress case they knew about. We handed out our email communication with RCC Malta to the responsible person of SIDER RODI and additionally called MRCC Lisboa as the SIDER RODI is portuguese flagged. Finally the merchant vessel changed course in direction of the travellers. We advised them to stay calm. In the end SIDER RODI had been advised by RCC Malta to only give water and oil to the travellers, so they can go on to Lampedusa. Meanwhile it was around 13h and the travellers sent us GPS positions regularly. At 14:04h they stated to see land and at 14:21h they sent us a GPS position located in Italian SAR zone. At this point we lost contact to those brave people after more than 14 hours where RCC Malta denied any responsibility.

We called in Lampedusa to ask for rescue but the answers were very vague. Later the day we called again on the island and as they have been many arrivals those day, they couldn’t match it with our case. But we learned from friends on the island that the travellers arrived. BOZA.

<b>Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 31st of March 2021</b> <i>Case name</i>: 2021_03_31-CM399 <i>Situation</i>: 80 people started from Libya and called Alarm Phone when they were in Maltese SAR zone, RCC Malta denied responsibility the whole time until travellers reached Italian SAR zone, the Italian Coastguard brought them to Lampedusa <i>Status of WTM Investigation</i>: Concluded <i>Place of Incident</i>: Central Mediterranean <i>Summary of the Case:</i> Shortly before midnight on 31st of March 2021 Alarm Phone was called by a group of travellers. They told us they were 80 people onboard, many minors, no women and all from Somalia or Etopia. The GPS position they gave to us was located in Maltese SAR zone, the boat was heading to Lampedusa. According to the people the situation onboard was urgent. We immediately called RCC Malta, which was pointless as they didn’t take the phone. We informed them and the NGO Pilote Volontaire via email. We stayed in contact with the travellers the whole night and received updated GPS position which we forwarded to the possible rescuers. At 02:49h on 1st April we published the first tweet and at 8h the travellers stated to be very exhausted and the kids onboard need help urgently. The GPS positions we received in these hours showed that they nearly didn’t move forward. The aircraft of Pilote Volontaire had very likely spotted the boat, it was drifting, and informed the authorities about it. When we called MRCC Rome they clearly said they are not responible. The travellers told us they were dying from hunger, the situation was tense. We spotted a merchant vessel not far away from the boat, the SIDER RODI, and successfully got in contact with the company. They agreed with us to call Malta for orders. When they came back to us we had to realise that Malta was denying that there is any distress case they knew about. We handed out our email communication with RCC Malta to the responsible person of SIDER RODI and additionally called MRCC Lisboa as the SIDER RODI is portuguese flagged. Finally the merchant vessel changed course in direction of the travellers. We advised them to stay calm. In the end SIDER RODI had been advised by RCC Malta to only give water and oil to the travellers, so they can go on to Lampedusa. Meanwhile it was around 13h and the travellers sent us GPS positions regularly. At 14:04h they stated to see land and at 14:21h they sent us a GPS position located in Italian SAR zone. At this point we lost contact to those brave people after more than 14 hours where RCC Malta denied any responsibility. We called in Lampedusa to ask for rescue but the answers were very vague. Later the day we called again on the island and as they have been many arrivals those day, they couldn't match it with our case. But we learned from friends on the island that the travellers arrived. BOZA.

This post was originally published on Watch the Med.


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» 31/03: 80 people coming from Libya, arrived after long non-assistance on Lampedusa | Watch the Med | Refugee Watch | https://www.refugee.watch/2021/04/01/31-03-80-people-coming-from-libya-arrived-after-long-non-assistance-on-lampedusa/ | 2021-12-04T01:32:08+00:00
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