A dinghy with some 57 immigrants - four of whom are female - on board was rescued by a patrol boat of the Guardia di Finanza.
Italian media are reporting that the dinghy, which was located to be some 10 miles south of Lampedusa was escorted towards Italian waters by a Maltese patrol boat. La Sicilia is reporting that the rescue was filmed by both the AFM and the Guardia di Finanza.
Meanwhile the AFM said that yesterday evening a fishing vessel informed the Rescue Coordination Centre Malta about a sighting of a white dinghy with about 60 persons southwest of Malta.
The RCC contacted the crew on board patrol boat P51, which was on routine patrol, and immediately instructed them to proceed and investigate the said dinghy.
When P51 arrived on scene, the crew confirmed the presence of a white dinghy with approximately 60 persons aboard, five of them females. All claimed Eritrean nationality and all were in good health. The dinghy was heading towards Lampedusa.
In order to ensure that those on board do not find themselves in a situation of distress, AFM personnel provided basic supplies and lifejackets to all aboard, as is their obligation. The immigrants, however, did not want to be rescued.
Later, the RCC Malta informed Italian authorities about the dinghy which was still proceeding towards Lampedusa.
Early this morning, with patrol boat P51 some 14 Nautical Miles off Lampedusa a Guardia di Finanza boat arrived on scene and continued escorting the migrant craft towards the shore.
Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.Support Us