Evacuations Underway as Cyclone Menaces India's Coast
India has evacuated more than 300,000 people along its northeast coastline by boat, bus and train ahead of a severe cyclone due to make landfall on Friday, with many villagers piling household possessions on to trucks before fleeing their homes.Severe cyclonic storm Fani was churning up the Bay of Bengal about 320 km (198 miles) south-southwest of the Hindu temple town of Puri where special trains were put on to evacuate tourists and the beaches were empty.In total, about 1.2 million people are expected to be evacuated from low-lying areas of 15 districts in the eastern state of Odisha to cyclone shelters, schools and other buildings…
ABB to Equip Seabourn Duo
ABB said it has secured a power and propulsion contract for the two debut Seabourn ultra-luxury expedition vessels.The contract covers two 170-meter length ships due delivery to the Seattle-based cruise company from Italian yard T. Mariotti, in June 2021 and May 2022 respectively.Seabourn has chosen ABB’s power and propulsion technology for the 23,000gt ships that integrates main generators, switchboard, convertors, bow thruster motors and the remote control system in a single package…
More than 100 Died in Boat Wreck off Libya
More than 100 migrants died in early September when their crowded rubber boats were wrecked off the coast of Libya, the MSF aid agency on Monday quoted survivors as saying.The two vessels had set out from the Libyan coast early on Sept. 1, each carrying scores of people, mostly African, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said in a statement on its website.One boat's engine failed later that day and the other began to deflate, it quoted a survivor as saying. Some survived by clinging to floating wreckage.A survivor told MSF that “European rescuers" had come by aircraft and thrown life rafts, but migrants remained in the water for hours."On our boat, only 55 people survived. Many people died, including families and children.
Italy to Impound German Charity's Migrant Rescue Ship
Italy appeared to relent on Thursday after at first refusing to accept 226 migrants on board a German charity rescue ship, saying later in the day it would take them in but would impound the vessel.Anti-immigrant interior minister Matteo Salvini initially said the Dutch-flagged ship Lifeline should take the people it plucked from the Mediterranean to the Netherlands and not Italy.But transport minister Danilo Toninelli, who oversees the coastguard, later said it was unsafe for…
Italy Tells Rescue Ship to Take Migrants to the Netherlands
Italy's anti-immigrant interior minister accused a German charity on Thursday of ignoring coastguard orders when its Dutch-flagged ship picked up 226 migrants off Libya's coast and he said they should be taken to the Netherlands not Italy.Earlier this month Matteo Salvini pledged to no longer let charity ships offload rescued migrants in Italy, leaving the Gibraltar-flagged Aquarius stranded at sea for several days with more than 600 migrants until Spain offered them safe haven.On Thursday, Mission Lifeline, a charity based in Dresden, Germany, pulled migrants off two rubber boats in international waters even though it was told by Italy that Libya's coastguard was coming to get them, a spokesman for the charity said.
Libyan Coastguard Picks Up 301 Migrants Headed for Europe
Libya's coastguard picked up 301 African migrants on Thursday from two inflatable boats after their engines failed near its western coast, a spokesman said.Libya is a main departure point for migrants fleeing wars and poverty trying to reach European countries, though crossings have dropped sharply since last July due to a more active coastguard supported by the European Union."The coastguard rescued 301 migrants early this morning, including three women and 46 children from 12 different sub-Saharan countries," its spokesman Ayoub Qassem told Reuters."The illegal migrants were on board two big rubber boats," Qassem said. "The engines of the two boats stopped working in the middle of sea."On Wednesday…
Italy Seizes Ship that Picked up Migrants in Mediterranean
Italian authorities seized a charity’s ship on suspicion it had helped illegal immigration by picking up migrants in the Mediterranean instead of letting Libya’s coastguard take them back to North Africa, the aid group said. The Spanish charity Proactiva Open Arms picked up 218 migrants who were in unsafe rubber boats in international waters off Libya’s coast on Thursday, then took them to Sicily, the Italian coastguard said. A Sicilian court impounded the boat late on Sunday on suspicion that members of its crew had violated international agreements on handling migrants and helped illegal migration into Europe, the charity said. There was no immediate comment from the court in Catania.
Unsafe Mixed Migration by Sea
Unsafe mixed migration by sea continues to claim many lives, despite the strenuous efforts made by Governmental and naval rescue services, often supported by merchant vessels, abiding by the long-standing tradition and legal obligation to go to the rescue of persons in distress at sea. The complexities of this humanitarian challenge were discussed on Monday (30 October) at a meeting hosted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), bringing together representatives of UN agencies, the maritime industry and European Union naval forces.
Three Dead, Thousands Rescued in Seas Off Libya
Three migrants died in the Mediterranean on Monday night, a German aid group said, during Italian-led rescue operations in which thousands more were pulled to safety from rickety boats. About 5,000 migrants were picked up off the Libyan coast by emergency services, Italy's navy, aid groups and private boats on Monday, and rescues were continuing on Tuesday, according to an Italian coastguard spokesman. "Despite all efforts, three people died from a sinking rubber boat" and rescue boats in the area are struggling to cope, German humanitarian group Jugend Rettet said on Facebook. Jugend Rettet (Rescuing Youth) is one of about nine aid…
Humanitarian Ships Rescue Hundreds in Mediterranean
Humanitarian groups operating rescue ships off the coast of Libya picked up more than 700 migrants out of seven flimsy and overcrowded boats on Wednesday, Italy's coast guard said. The Phoenix rescue ship, operated by the Malta-based non-governmental organisation MOAS, rescued more than 300 people from three boats in international waters off the coast of the Libyan city of Sabratha. The Aquarius, operated by SOS Mediterranee and Doctors without Borders, went to the aid of four rubber boats, a coast guard spokesman said. Italy's coast guard coordinated the rescues. Migrants arriving in Italy on boats from North Africa are up some 30 percent so far this year, according to official data released last week.
About 100 Migrants Feared Dead in Mediterranean
Six migrants died and up to 100 more were missing and feared dead after their rubber boat sank in the Mediterranean on Thursday, the president of the Italian unit of aid group Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said. A British navy ship rescued 27 people and recovered six bodies about 20 miles from the coast of Libya early on Thursday morning, MSF Italy president Loris De Filippi said. The new disaster adds to a death toll which aid groups had put at 240 for the three days ending on Wednesday, as migrants continue to leave Libya despite rough seas. The migrants were transferred to the MSF ship Bourbon Argos, one of several aid agency vessels operating in the area. Survivors told staff that another 90 to 100 people had also been on board and had died.
Cruise Ship Transits the Northeast Passage
Expedition cruise ship Hanseatic has navigated the Northeast Passage for the second time, completing its journey through the Arctic Ocean sea route in the early hours of September 7, 2016. After sailing a total of 5,542 nautical miles, the ship will arrive in Nome on September 10 and officially end its cruise. In 2014, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Hanseatic became the first non-Russian cruise ship to navigate the Northeast Passage, which runs along the north coasts of Asia and Europe, from the Bering Strait to the White Sea.
Calm Seas, Libya's Lawless State Open Door for Migrant Flows
Calmer seas and Libya's lawlessness have opened the way for smugglers to ship thousands of migrants across the Mediterranean this week, in a striking reminder of how far Europe is from ending the migrant crisis. In just four days, Italy's coastguard and European vessels pulled 13,000 migrants from packed wooden boats and rubber dinghies crossing from Libya's coast through the Strait of Sicily, one of the shortest routes from North Africa. Images from rescue vessels showed migrants crammed into fragile boats, some in orange life jackets, others jumping into the water to swim as rescuers shouted for them to stop. Many were women and children, most of them Subsaharan Africans.
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.
Migrant Arrivals to Greece Rise Sharply
Arrivals of refugees and migrants to Greece from Turkey rose sharply on Wednesday, just over a week since the European Union and Turkey struck a deal intended to cut off the flow. Greek authorities recorded 766 new arrivals between Tuesday morning and Wednesday morning, up from 192 the previous day. Most arrived on the northeastern Aegean island of Lesbos. Italy reported an even larger jump in arrivals on Tuesday, when officials there said 1,350 people - mostly from Africa - were rescued from small boats taking the longer migration route over the Mediterranean as the weather warmed up. The EU Commission said on Tuesday that the flows in the last week had reduced…
Greece: No Plan for Migrant Sea Patrols with Turkey
Greece said on Tuesday it had no plan to carry out joint sea patrols with neighbouring Turkey to stem an influx of migrants and refugees into Europe. A record 400,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in Greece this year from nearby Turkey, most fleeing war-torn Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq and hoping to reach wealthier northern Europe. Many others have died at sea while making the short but perilous crossing on flimsy rubber boats. The member states of Europe, meanwhile, have struggled to agree on a strategy to control the flow of people. German government spokesman Steffen Seibert on Monday suggested that Greek and Turkish coast guard and navy team up to crack down on traffickers that migrants are turning to in their effort to reach Europe. "Greece ...
4,700 Migrants Rescued off Libya Coast
Nearly 4,700 migrants were rescued off the coast of Libya on Saturday as they tried to reach Europe but one woman was found dead, Italy's coastguard said. Tens of thousands of people, mainly from Africa and the Middle East, have tried to cross the Mediterranean this year, often dangerously packed into small vessels unsuitable for the voyage. The coastguard said in a statement it had coordinated 20 rescue operations involving numerous vessels which picked up 4,343 migrants from rubber boats and barges.
Philippine Ferry Sinks, 36 Dead
A ferry carrying 189 passengers and crew capsized off the central Philippines in heavy waves on Thursday, killing at least 36 people but the majority of those on board were rescued, the coast guard and police said. The MBCA Kim-Nirvana, a motorised outrigger with 173 passengers and 16 crew on board, capsized minutes after leaving the port of Ormoc. Coast guard spokesman Armand Balilo said 127 people survived, while 26 were still listed as missing. "Search and rescue operations are ongoing. Initially we learned that it was due to big waves," said Rey Gozon, director of the office of civil defence for the region. Scores, sometimes hundreds, of people die each year in ferry accidents in the Philippines, an archipelago of 7,100 islands with a notoriously poor record for maritime safety.
Turkish Coastguard Rescues 636 Migrants
Turkey's coastguard has rescued more than 600 people trying to cross the Aegean sea over the last five days, including women and children fleeing war-torn Syria in rubber boats, a provincial governor's office said on Tuesday. More than 400 of the 636 rescued migrants were from Syria, while others were from Iraq, Afghanistan, Myanmar and some African countries, the office of the governor of the coastal Izmir province said in a statement. Acting on tip-offs, the coastguard also detained a suspected human trafficker. Around 2 million Syrian refugees have fled the violence in their homeland and taken shelter in neighbouring Turkey. Many of them reportedly pay exorbitant amounts to smugglers and traffickers to help them get to Europe, risking a perilous journey in search of a better life.
Forty Migrants Drowned in Med on Sunday
Around forty migrants died in the Mediterranean on Sunday, according to survivors of the journey who arrived on the southern Italian island of Sicily on Tuesday, local Save the Children spokeswoman Giovanna Di Benedetto said. The deaths were reported by some of the roughly 240 migrants from Ghana, Gambia, Senegal and Ivory Coast who arrived in the port of Catania, another Save the Children spokeswoman said. A Maltese merchant ship rescued the migrants from two rubber boats on which they had set off from Libya, where lawlessness has been exploited by traffickers who can charge thousands of dollars to people looking for a better life in Europe.
6,800 Migrants Rescued as Med Seas Abate
One of busiest weekends for sea crossings this year. Around 6,800 migrants were rescued from overcrowded boats crossing to Europe over the weekend, including a mother who gave birth to a baby girl on an Italian navy ship, the coast guard said. Numbers risking the journey in search of a better life have continued to rise two weeks after as many as 900 people drowned in the worst Mediterranean shipwreck in living memory. Crew from the Italian naval vessel Bettica found the woman in labour on a boat overnight -- one of 34 vessels intercepted over the weekend. A photo posted online showed her new daughter sleeping in a makeshift cradle decorated with a pink bow. "Both mother and daughter are in good health," the navy said in a statement.
Three Vessels Ground in the Philippines
The Philippines Coast Guard Central Vizayas Action Center reported today three maritime incidents that occurred within their area of responsibility last night, January 15. MV Joyful Star with 237 passengers onboard ran aground yesterday around 11:45 p.m. at the vicinity of Bantolinao Point, Cebu while enroute from Maasin, Leyte to Cebu. Said vessel, with 1097.87 GT, is skippered by Captain Alexander Canete of Roble Shipping Incorporated. The Coast Guard is still transferring passengers of MV Joyful Star using rubber boats to DF 318 and MTug Janggo to Porter Yacht Club, Cebu. Additionally, MV Subic Bay 1, a cargo container vessel, ran aground at the same area at 2:44 a.m. today en route from Nasipit, Butuan to Pier 7, Port of Cebu.
Philippine Coast Guard Boosts Security
With some 12 million devotees from different walks of life to join the procession, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and various law enforcement agencies will deploy its security personnel and assets for the upcoming Feast of the Black Nazarene on Thursday, January 9, 2014. PCG Commandant Rear Admiral Rodolfo D. Isorena directed the dispatch of PCG personnel and assets in different points within the route of said procession. Nine CGK9 dogs with handlers will be deployed at vicinity Quirino Grandstand in Luneta Park, three PCG craft will be placed on standby at the back of the Quirino grandstand to serve as platform in case of emergency evacuation together with four rubber boats manned by SOG…