BREAKING. Around 200 persons died in one shipwreck today. A few hours ago a fishing boat carrying several hundred migrants has capsized 15 nautical miles north of the Libyan coast.
The distress call has been received by a Syrian woman in Sicily, who contacted our PR and press officer Ruben Neugebauer. Following the guidance of Sea-Watch nautical experts in the camp, Ruben managed to identify the position of the migrants boat and provide the related coordinates to MRCC Rome.
The rescue has been undertaken by an Irish warship that was located close by. The Sea-Watch was sailing five hours of navigation away, right beyond the 24 nautical miles delimiting the Libyan contiguous zone. The shipwreck took place during the SAR activities. Conflicting information report that 100 to 400 migrants have been rescued while the other died at sea during the rescue.
A plausible hypothesis is that by getting close to the migrant boat the big warship caused waives that destabilised the vessel, facilitating or accelerating the shipwreck. According to the procedures for SAR operations, for safety reasons it is always preferable to approach these unstable boats with tenders rather than with the mothership.
This tragedy shows the crucial importance of professionalism and collaboration at sea, especially when involving a situation of distress. Today, migrants drowned due to an procedural mistake in the rescue operation. If immigration was addressed as a structural phenomenon rather than as an emergency, this could have been be avoided.
See BBC Report – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-33791920