On the last day of the fifth mission, Thursday 27.08, the Sea-Watch undertook 5 rescue operations, saving about about 550 people found in distress at sea.
The Coast Guard asked the SW to reach and provide first assistance to 3 rubber boats. During the operations our ship detected other 2 rubber boats which have been reached and towed to our mothership with the tender.
The crew used all life-rafts and SAR equipment on board to ensure the safety of the migrants while waiting for the Coast Guard to take over. Among the rescued persons there were several injured people including seriously a man with both legs broken, as well as two deceased bodies, family members of the rescued.
The first 125 migrants have been transferred in the morning to a foreign merchant ship, hijacked by MRCC Rome to assist with SAR operations. The rescued included children and pregnant women, subsequently transferred to a unit of Guardia di Finanza, and the two lifeless bodies, which have been later transferred to the ship Diciotti CP941 of the Coast Guard. The Sea-Watch waited for the arrival of the Coast Guard for 9 hours, while the latter was involved in concurrent operations: around 10 in the day of yesterday, for a total of 1400 persons rescued.
The whole operations terminated only in the late evening, with the ship CP906 taking over the remaining 454 migrants. The Sea-Watch Crew was able to maintain the situation under control, even when they finished the water supplies, in what has been an extremely complex and exhausting operation. The Sea-Watch played a crucial role in supporting the work of the Coast Guard, reinforcing the working relationship with the main SAR authority in the Mediterranean and showing the need of enhanced patrol capacity on the site.
We are expecting the fifth crew to be back at midnight from an impressive mission. In the meantime, the land team is prepared to get the ship ready for the next mission.
In the meantime, the tragedy continues. Yesterday, the Swedish ship Poseidon, operating under Fronted mandate, found 51 bodies in the hold of a boat, while they managed to rescue 400 people, including 10 identified smugglers. Today, 28 August, another 200 deceased bodies have been found by the Libyan Coast Guard not far from the coast of Zuwara.
Everyday thousands of persons rescued and hundreds of deaths. These the figures of a routinary day of August 2015 in the Sicilian Channel.