Operations on rough seas: Italy’s coast guard has to save hundreds of migrants


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Missions on rough seas
Italy’s coast guard must rescue hundreds of migrants

More and more migrants and refugees dare the dangerous crossing over the central Mediterranean Sea to Europe. Hundreds are currently in distress. The Italian Coast Guard are on their way. The weather conditions complicate the rescue operations.

Less than two weeks after the refugee disaster that killed dozens in the waters off Italy, the country’s coast guard launched several rescue operations. “Over 1,000 people are at risk,” the Coast Guard said. She moved out with several ships.

As stated in a statement, an airplane will also be used. A military ship also took part in the rescue operations. The weather report announced strong winds and increasingly rough seas for the weekend. The rescue operations were particularly difficult because so many people were crammed into the boats floating in the water.

According to this, there are around 500 migrants on a boat about 110 kilometers south of the Calabrian city of Crotone. Emergency calls were made on board in the morning. Three ships are on their way to take them on board, according to the Coast Guard. The goal of the rescue operation is near the accident site on February 26.

According to the Coast Guard, more ships were dispatched on Friday to rescue around 800 migrants who were aboard two boats floating further out at sea. A ship from the Italian Navy is also on its way at full speed to help with the rescue. According to local media, the Coast Guard rescued 500 migrants near the island of Lampedusa earlier in the day.

73. Fatalities recovered

The Coast Guard was recently criticized for not initially helping a boat with more than 150 migrants at the end of February. Finally, police ships tried in vain to intercept the wooden boat. It broke in rough seas. The body of a young boy was recovered today, bringing the death toll to 73. Many migrants are still missing. Several dozen occupants of the wooden boat survived, according to the provincial government.

The coast guard and the government in Rome said that they initially did not assume an emergency situation on the night of the accident. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni reminded on Thursday after a meeting of her cabinet in the town of Cutro, off the beach of which the ship sank, that the Coast Guard comes to the rescue of boats every day. She rejected allegations that those migrants were deliberately not helped.

Italy’s Ministry of the Interior has counted several thousand boat migrants who have arrived on the coasts of the Mediterranean country or on the island of Lampedusa in the past few days. As of Thursday evening, more than 15,800 migrants were registered – in 2021 and 2022 there were almost 6,000 people in the same period.

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