The search and rescue command centre of Malta’s army this morning issued an alert that someone was stranded at sea to the distant south east of Malta and north of Libya.

The alert instructs vessels in the area to go to the point from where the alert was sent and report any significant sightings to the command centre in Malta.

In spite of the area where the report came from, this notice is not your typical “migrants are drowning” alarm which Malta’s command centre is typically very slow to issue. In fact, the alert, unusually specifies that the alert came from a “US citizen stranded at sea”.

An image of the alert was published on Twitter earlier today by Radio Radicale journalist Sergio Scandura. Scandura is an expert on migration and was one of the journalists that was being illegally monitored by the Italian security authorities because of his migration journalism.

Scandura, who monitors closely navigational notices in the Mediterranean, says that these notices as a rule should not carry the nationality of people stranded at sea. The nationality of the people needing rescue is not relevant as all human lives are entitled to be rescued.

Sergio Scandura describes the reference to the American nationality of the person stranded at sea as “suprematismo”, the ranking of people according to their race.