Italy Rescues More than 2,500 Migrants Since Thursday

Friday, June 06, 2014

Navy went to aid of 17 different vessels; Flow of boat migrants set to break 2011, Arab Spring record. Italy wants more EU help, UN intervention in Libya.

Italy has rescued more than 2,500 men, women and children from overcrowded boats in the Mediterranean Sea south of Sicily since early Thursday, the navy said, with good weather favouring departures from North Africa.

Italian navy and coast guard ships monitoring the waters off the Libyan and Tunisian coasts went to the aid of 17 different boats over the period, the navy said on Friday morning, adding that rescue efforts are continuing.

One ship, the San Giorgio, took aboard 998 migrants, including 214 women and 157 children, from five different vessels, the navy said in a statement.

"The improving weather and sea conditions have favoured the departures," the coast guard said in a separate statement.

Although the authorities gave no details about the nationalities of the migrants, they often include Syrians fleeing civil war and Eritreans evading military conscription.

Italy set up Europe's biggest search and rescue mission - called Mare Nostrum or "Our Sea" - almost eight months ago after 366 migrants fleeing African countries drowned when their boat capsized a mile from Sicily.

The mission to patrol the waters between Italy and Africa to prevent further tragedies employs a drone, several helicopters and airplanes, dozens of coast guard vessels and five navy ships.

The number of boat migrants who have reached Italy this year has already topped the more than 40,000 who came during all of 2013. The pace of arrivals is on track to exceed the record of 62,000 set in 2011 during the Arab Spring uprisings.

Italy's immigration centers are groaning under the flood and bureaucrats are struggling to process tens of thousands of requests to be hosted temporarily for humanitarian reasons or given asylum.

Italy has repeatedly asked for more European Union countries to join the effort to patrol one of the most popular migrant routes between Africa and Europe, but so far only Slovenia has chipped in, offering one ship for two months late last year.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi last week urged the United Nations to intervene in Libya, where criminal gangs charge migrants more than $1,000 each for a spot on unsafe vessels, to try to limit the departures.

The recent flood of boat migrants has helped revive the anti-immigrant Northern League, which had lost much of its support over the last two years due to corruption scandals and leadership changes.

Reporting by Steve Scherer

Maritime Reporter May 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Navigation

Raytheon Anschütz Expands US operations

Raytheon Company announced the launch of its new subsidiary, Raytheon Anschuetz USA LLC, located in San Diego, Calif.    According to the company, Raytheon Anschuetz

Maritime Disputes Test China's Peaceful Rise

The South China Sea has become the most important testing ground for the changing economic, political and military relationship between China and the United States.

VIKING’s Top Safety Offerings at Nor-Shipping

Marine safety equipment leader VIKING Life-Saving Equipment will appear in force at Nor-Shipping 2015, displaying both innovative products and services that

Maritime Security

Thailand: 300 "boat people" Landed in Recent Weeks

Around 300 "boat people" have landed on Thailand's shores in recent weeks, Sek Wannamethee, director-general of the information department at Thailand's Foreign Ministry, said on Friday.

U.S.: China Placed Artillery on Reclaimed Island

The United States said on Friday that China had placed mobile artillery weapons systems on a reclaimed island in the disputed South China Sea, a development that Republican Sen.

Adm. Swift Takes Command of Pacific Fleet

Adm. Scott H. Swift returned to his home state and relieved Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr. as commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet during a change of command ceremony on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam,

Maritime Safety

Mass. Maritime Taps McDonald as New President

EVP Fran McDonald tops a field of five; choice still must be approved by Massachuestts Board of Higher Education.   Pending a confirmation vote by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education (BHE),

Thailand: 300 "boat people" Landed in Recent Weeks

Around 300 "boat people" have landed on Thailand's shores in recent weeks, Sek Wannamethee, director-general of the information department at Thailand's Foreign Ministry, said on Friday.

U.S.: China Placed Artillery on Reclaimed Island

The United States said on Friday that China had placed mobile artillery weapons systems on a reclaimed island in the disputed South China Sea, a development that Republican Sen.

Eye on the Navy

BWTS Newcomer Sees Early Success

Norwegian manufacturer of ballast water treatment systems MMC Green Technology reports it has sold more than 70 systems since going commercial with its MMC BWMS two years ago,

Thailand: 300 "boat people" Landed in Recent Weeks

Around 300 "boat people" have landed on Thailand's shores in recent weeks, Sek Wannamethee, director-general of the information department at Thailand's Foreign Ministry, said on Friday.

U.S.: China Placed Artillery on Reclaimed Island

The United States said on Friday that China had placed mobile artillery weapons systems on a reclaimed island in the disputed South China Sea, a development that Republican Sen.

Government Update

Chile Customs Strike Ends After 8 Days

A customs strike in Chile that had held up exports and imports for over a week has ended after the union said on Friday it had come to an agreement with the government.

Mass. Maritime Taps McDonald as New President

EVP Fran McDonald tops a field of five; choice still must be approved by Massachuestts Board of Higher Education.   Pending a confirmation vote by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education (BHE),

Thailand: 300 "boat people" Landed in Recent Weeks

Around 300 "boat people" have landed on Thailand's shores in recent weeks, Sek Wannamethee, director-general of the information department at Thailand's Foreign Ministry, said on Friday.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Ship Electronics Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1247 sec (8 req/sec)