Cargo Ships Collide Near Corsica Causing Oil Spill
The Ulysse, ro-ro-cargo ship operated by the Tunisian operator CTN, struck the Cyprus-based container ship CLS Virgina near the French Mediterranean island of Corsica early Sunday, causing no injuries but causing a 4-kilometer (2.4 mile) fuel spill in the Mediterranean Sea.According to a statement from the regional French maritime authority the collision smashed a hole of several meters (yards) long in the hull of one of the ships, causing the spill.AP reported that the spill created a trail of pollution nearly 2 and a half miles long and several hundred yards wide…
Italy in New Migrant Boat Standoff with Malta
Italy on Friday urged Malta to go to the aid of an overcrowded boat carrying hundreds of migrants, only hours after the Italian president intervened to end a dispute within the ruling coalition over rescued immigrants.There have been two similar stand-offs with Malta since Italy's new populist government, which pairs the far-right League party with the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, took power on June 1.Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who is also leader of the League, said Italy would not take in the migrants because they were Malta's responsibility. Malta, a small island nation, has generally refused to take in large numbers of boat migrants.Italy has seen more than 650…
Italy Refuses Commercial Ship with Migrants on Board
Italy has refused to allow a commercial vessel flying an Italian flag to bring ashore rescued migrants, sticking to a hardline policy on new arrivals as it presses European allies to share the burden of hosting an influx of displaced people.A commercial ship that supplies oil platforms off the coast of Libya pulled 66 migrants to safety on Monday, but it was told not to bring them to Italy, an Interior Ministry source said.Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli, who oversees the coast guard and the country's ports, said the migrants had been transferred to an Italian coast guard vessel on Tuesday after some of them threatened the lives of the Italian crew.They will be brought to Italy…
Migrant Crisis: New EU Sea Mission Launched
The European Union’s border agency Frontex launched a new Mediterranean operation called Themis on Thursday, removing the obligation of the previous mission to bring rescued migrants only to Italy. Italy has repeatedly lamented a lack of EU solidarity in managing immigration. The previous Frontex operation, called Triton, required all those rescued at sea to be brought to Italy even if another EU country, such as Malta, was closer. “Triton said that whomever rescued would be taken to Italy,” said Izabella Cooper, a spokeswoman for Frontex. Triton was a Greek god and the messenger of the sea, while Themis was the goddess of divine law and order.
Upgraded OPV Delivered to Malta
Having undergone six months of upgrading activities at Fincantieri’s Genoa drydocking facility, Offshore Patrol Vessel P61 has been delivered to the Armed Forces of Malta. The upgrade, which aimed to improve the vessel’s reaction capability, included the installation of a new main propulsion plant, other machinery and equipment as well as the overhaul of most of the ship’s onboard systems. The project was co-financed by the European Union Internal Security Fund. Offshore Patrol…
More than 1,300 Migrants Rescued at Sea in One Day
More than 1,300 migrants were rescued in 13 separate missions in the Mediterranean on Friday, bringing the total helped over the last three days to more than 2,600, the coast guard said. The migrants, who were aboard 13 vessels, were saved in the central Mediterranean by ships from the Italian coast guard, the Italian and British navies, merchant ships and vessels operated by non-government organisations, a statement said. Another 1,300 were rescued on Wednesday. The voyage from Libya across the Mediterranean to Italy is currently the main route to Europe for migrants. A record 181,000 made the journey last year, most on flimsy boats run by people-smugglers. More than 5,000 are believed to have died attempting the crossing in 2016.
Fincantieri to Upgrade Malta's Patrol Vessel
Fincantieri, one of the world’s largest shipbuilding groups and number one by diversification and innovation, was awarded the contract by the Armed Forces of Malta for the upgrading of P61, an Offshore Patrol Vessel, built by Fincantieri over 10 years ago. The contract was signed by Brigadier Jeffrey Curmi, Commander of the Armed Forces of Malta, and Gian Battista Corbetta, Head of Maintenance, Refitting Overhaul & Conversion of Fincantieri’s Naval Services Business Unit. The upgrading activities…
Med Responders Save 550 Migrants, Recover Five Bodies
About 550 migrants, most of them from West Africa, were pulled to safety from boats in the Mediterranean on Monday in five operations during which rescuers also recovered five dead bodies, Italy's coast guard said. The bodies were in a rubber dinghy and one other person from the dinghy had drowned, according to aid group SOS Mediterranee, whose Aquarius vessel helped in the rescues off Libya's coast. "We recovered five bodies dead inside the rubber boat after the rescue, and one person drowned," an SOS Mediterranee spokeswoman said, quoting two rescue workers who said they saw the person drowning. They were not able to recover the body. A boy, who was unconscious for two hours, and a woman who had inhaled a lot of fuel, were evacuated by helicopter.
Vessel Classified for Migrant Rescue
Every day migrants and refugees are at risk of drowning as they make the perilous journey to Europe, a voyage which will only become riskier as winter approaches. But thanks to the work of the charity, Save the Children, together with ship owner Vroon and RINA Services, a specifically dedicated rescue ship has been classified to rescue those that run into difficulty when crossing the Mediterranean. In 2016 Save the Children started a project aiming to use a vessel from the Dutch ship owner Vroon to save the lives of men…
Mediterranean Three Times More Deadly Than 2015
The death toll on the Mediterranean has nearly matched that of all last year, with more than 3,740 migrants and refugees having drowned on their way to Europe, and perilous winter months still to come, aid agencies said on Tuesday. Smugglers are now sending thousands of people on flimsy inflatable rafts from Libya to Italy in mass embarkations, perhaps to lower their own risks of being caught, but also complicating the work of rescue teams, they said. At least 3,740 people have perished so far…
Seven Migrants Die on Day of Libyan Coast Guard Attack
The crew of a speedboat labelled "Libyan Coast Guard" attacked a migrant boat packed with some 150 migrants, beating them with sticks and causing many to fall into the water and at least four to drown, humanitarian group Sea-Watch said on Friday. Rescuers recovered three more dead bodies on a different rubber boat and picked up a total 3,300 survivors from 24 different boats during the day, Italy's coast guard said. Germany-based Sea-Watch, one of several non-governmental organisations operating vessels off the coast of Libya, said the speedboat swooped in just as they were about to go to the aid of the overcrowded rubber boat in the early hours of Friday.
Rescuers Save 301 Boat Migrants in Med
Rescuers pulled 301 boat migrants to safety and found five dead bodies in five operations in the central Mediterranean on Wednesday, the Italian Coast Guard said. An Irish navy ship recovered the five dead from a rubber boat along with 118 survivors. Humanitarian group Life Boat saved 130 people from another rubber boat. Overnight, Italian Coast Guard vessels rescued 18 people from a wooden boat near the southern island of Pantelleria, a further 11 near the uninhabited island of Lampione, and 24 more off the coast of Lampedusa Island on Wednesday morning. The central Mediterranean route between North Africa and Italy is the deadliest border in the world for migrants.
Volvo Penta’s IPS System a Boon to Ferries Operators
A new passenger ferry, Antares, has been launched from the Italian city of Naples and is the first boat of its kind in the region to be installed with Volvo Penta’s ingenious Inboard Performance System (IPS). The installation of IPS 900 showcases Volvo Penta’s state-of-the-art technology as the prime engine drive choice for commercial operators. Volvo Penta’s cutting edge IPS 900 has been installed in a new ferry which transports passengers along Italy’s beautiful Amalfi coast.
Boat Migrant Rescues Surge as Calm Seas Return to Mediterranean
Ships manned by humanitarian organisations, the Italian navy and the coast guard helped rescue more than 2,000 boat migrants on Thursday as calm seas returned to the Mediterranean prompting a surge in departures. The Topaz Responder, a ship run by the Malta-based humanitarian group Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), said 23 different migrant boats had been spotted in the sea about 20 nautical miles from the Libyan port city of Sabratha. Rescue operations were ongoing, the Italian coast guard said. "The mass movement is probably the result of week-long, unfavourable weather conditions" that have come to an end, MOAS said on Twitter. The Topaz Responder picked up 382 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa from three different large rubber boats.
Hundreds of Migrants Arrive in Italy from Egypt
Italy's coast guard said on Thursday it had rescued more than 300 migrants from a packed boat in which they had travelled hundreds of kilometres (miles) from Egypt to the Strait of Sicily. People fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East have been arriving in southern Italian waters for years, usually from Libya, where they pay smugglers for the passage. A spokeswoman for the Italian coast guard said migrants had arrived from Egypt in the past, but much less frequently than from Libya, which is about half as far away by boat. Italy's coast guard and a Spanish aircraft working for European Union border agency Frontex went on Wednesday to the aid of the boat, rescuing 156 men, 51 women and 107 minors.
Italy Rescues 910 Boat Migrants, Finds One Body
More than 900 migrants were rescued in four separate operations in the Strait of Sicily on Saturday and emergency services recovered one corpse, Italy's coast guard said. Now into the second year of its worst migration crisis since World War Two, Europe has seen more than 1.2 million people arrive since the beginning of 2015, most of them from Africa and the Middle East. Italy's coast guard has continued to pick up migrants in trouble in the stretch of water between its southern coast and North Africa, although most people seeking a better life in Europe have taken less dangerous routes to Greece. On Saturday, the Italian coast guard said it had rescued 378 migrants in two separate operations and found one body.
NATO Sea Mission Launched against Migrant Traffickers
NATO ships are on their way to the Aegean Sea to help Turkey and Greece crack down on criminal networks smuggling refugees into Europe, the alliance's top commander said on Thursday. Hours after NATO defence ministers agreed to use their maritime force in the eastern Mediterranean to help combat traffickers, Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Philip Breedlove said he was working quickly to design the mission. "We are sailing the ships in the appropriate direction," Breedlove told a news conference, and the mission plan would be refined during the time they were en route. "That's about 24 hours," he said. The plan, which was first raised only on Monday by Germany and Turkey, took NATO by surprise and is aimed at helping the continent tackle its worst migration crisis since World War Two.
Migrant Boat Sinks off Libya; 200 Feared Dead
A boat packed with mainly African migrants bound for Italy sank off the Libyan coast on Thursday and officials said up to 200 might have died. A security official in the western town of Zuwara, from where the overcrowded boat had set off, said there had been around 400 people on board. Many appeared to have been trapped in the hold when it capsized. By late in the evening, the Libyan coast guard rescued around 201, of which 147 were brought to a detention facility for illegal migrants in Sabratha, west of Tripoli, the official said, asking not to be named. Another local official and a journalist based in Zuwara confirmed the sinking but also had no information on casualties.
Some 50 Migrants Found Dead in Boat off Libya
Some 50 migrants were found dead in the hold of a boat off the coast of Libya on Wednesday during a rescue operation which saved 430 other people, the Italian coast guard said. A spokeswoman for the Italian coast guard said the Swedish ship Poseidon, working with the European Union's Frontex border control agency, had gone to help the people on the boat where the bodies were found. Emergency calls for help have been received so far on Wednesday from 10 boats in difficulty around 30 miles (50 km) from the coast of Libya, the spokeswoman said. Five rescue operations have been concluded, but others are still underway. (Reporting by Antonella Cinelli, writing by Isla Binnie)
German Navy Helps Deliver Somali Migrant's Baby After Rescue
German navy staff helped deliver a Somali migrant's baby hours after the mother was rescued from the Mediterranean sea, the German armed forces said on Tuesday. Rahma, 33, from Mogadishu, gave birth to a baby girl, Sophia, on board the German rescue boat 'Schleswig Holstein' as it headed for the Italian coast. She was travelling alone at the end of a five-month journey, the Bundeswehr said. Officers said Sophia, who weighed 3 kg (about 7 pounds) at birth, was doing well. She is thought to be the first baby ever born on a German naval vessel. Her mother was one of 4,000 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean over the weekend. She was picked up first by the British navy before being transferred to the German vessel and taken to a hospital for checks after the ship docked in Taranto…
Boat Migrant Found Dead in Mediterranean, 354 Rescued
Rescuers found one migrant dead and saved 354 on a fishing boat in rough seas near the southwestern shore of Italy, the coast guard said on Monday. The body was found on Sunday night, adding to the weekend's Mediterranean death toll after 49 people were found dead, probably from suffocation, on an overcrowded fishing boat. Two Italian coast guard ships, a Croatian coast guard vessel deployed under the European Union's Triton maritime mission and a merchant ship carried out the rescue in choppy waters near the coast of Calabria, the Italian coast guard said in a statement. Survivors of the weekend's tragedy were brought ashore to the Sicilian port of Catania on Monday.
UN Urges EU to Help With Med Migrants
Island communities unable to cope with migrant flow, UN says. The United Nations refugee agency said on Friday that Greece urgently needed help to cope with 1,000 migrants arriving each day and called on the European Union (EU) to step in before the humanitarian situation deteriorates further. More than 77,000 people have arrived by sea to Greece so far this year, more than 60 percent of them Syrians, with others fleeing Afghanistan, Iraq, Eritrea and Somalia, it said. "The volatile economic situation, combined with the increasing numbers of new arrivals, is putting severe strain on small island communities," William Spindler of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) told a briefing.
12 Migrants Drown, 500 Rescued in Mediterranean
Twelve migrants died on Thursday when their overcrowded rubber dinghy sank off the coast of Libya, the Italian Coast Guard said, while some 500 were rescued in the latest episodes in the Mediterranean migrant crisis. The corpses of the victims were found in the sea by the Coast Guard ship Dattilo some 40 miles north of Libya, a Coast Guard spokesman said. The Dattilo saved 106 people from the same dinghy, which was "half submerged" when help arrived. The Dattilo is still involved in other rescue operations involving boats in difficulty, the spokesman said. A total of 393 other migrants were saved in four different operations carried out by the Dattilo on Thursday. Another 106 migrants were saved by two Coast Guard frigates operating off the southern Italian island of Lampedusa.