A rescue ship operated by a Spanish NGO has not been able to reach Malta’s Rescue Command and Control Centre for several hours after saving migrants in Malta’s search and rescue area. Aita Mari rescued 120 migrants at sea this morning, including 8 women and a baby. The rescue boat is close to two other boats in distress with around 110 people on board.
🔴 El #AitaMari ha localizado esta madrugada una embarcación a la deriva con ~102 personas (entre ellas habría un bebé y 8 mujeres) en el Mediterráneo Central. Ahora mismo las estamos embarcando en el #AitaMari después de que hayan pasado muchas horas de incertidumbre en el mar.
— Salvamento Maritimo Humaniario (@smhumanitario) February 19, 2021
Aita Mari announced the rescue just before 8 am this morning. The rescue happened after another NGO, Alarm Phone, raised the alarm during the night after it received a call from the boat.
Grazie #AitaMari! 102 persone soccorse! 🧡
Una barca in pericolo a largo della #Libia ci ha chiamato durante la notte. AitaMari è stata l’unica a rispondere all’allarme che abbiamo lanciato. È un sollievo che le 102 persone siano ora al sicuro a bordo della #flottacivile.
— Alarm Phone (@alarm_phone) February 19, 2021
Italian NGO Mediterranea confirmed to this website that Malta’s rescue centre has not been picking up calls or responding to emails about the distress call.
A written message from the bridge of the Aita Mari to Mediterranea reads as follows:
Ship AITA MARI (Spanish NGO Salvamento Maritimo Humanitario) rescued this morning 102 persons (8 women and 1 baby) in Maltese SAR zone. Now they are in stand-by close to TWO other cases of boats in distress with approx 110 persons on board in position lat 34°37 N – lon 012°25 E. They are trying since hours to contact RCC Malta (already informed via email) but NO answer.