21 April 2020






2 mins

Italy has refused to take in saved migrants due to the coronavirus pandemic disease, saying that the outbreak has killed over 23,000 people, meant it could no longer be considered a port of safety.

34 migrants rescued by Spanish NGO rescue vessel AITA MARI were transferred on Sunday to the 180 metre ropax RAFFAELE RUBATTINO owned by the Italian company Tirrenia and she’s anchored outside Palermo Port and staffed by 22 Red Cross volunteers.

AITA MARI berthed at Siracusa, Sicily shortly before she left to SAR Area on Easter Sunday 12th April, 2020.

AITA MARI proceeding to SAR AREA on 12.04.2020 spotted at 2231 hrs

AITA MARI underway off Lampedusa Territorial Waters on Wednesday 15th April,2020 with evacuation of a family –

AITA MARI anchored off Palermo on Sunday 19th April, 2020 at 2215 hrs

They joined 146 migrants who were transferred to the ropax on Friday 17th April, 2020 from the rescue vessel ALAN KURDI run by the German NGO Sea Eye.     

ALAN KURDI underway off Lampedusa on Friday 10th April, 2020 at 1514 hrs

ALAN KURDI underway off Trapani on Saturday 11th April, 2020 at 2207 hrs

ALAN KURDI anchored off Trapani on Sunday 12th April, 2020 at 2224 hrs

ALAN KURDI anchored off Palermo on Tuesday 14th April, 2020 at 2101 hrs

ALAN KURDI underway off Palermo on Wednesday 15th April, 2020 at 2207 hrs

ALAN KURDI anchored off Palermo on Sunday 19th April, 2020 at 2213 hrs

All migrants will be tested for the virus and redistributed among EU countries once the 14-day isolation period is up, according to Italian media reports.

The ropax RAFFAELE RUBATTINO built in 2000 by Cantieri Navali Baglietto La Spezia at La Spezia, Italy has total capacity of 1,471 passengers and has 289 cabins, a medical center, restaurant, bars and a children’s play area.

RAFFAELE RUBATTINO berthed at Palermo Port back to 2nd October, 2014.

Law Enforcement Maritime Craft are patrolling the area including Guardia Costiera and Guardia Di Finanza

Meanwhile on Friday, 17th April, 2020 the German NGO Sea Eye issued a press release –

The crew of the ALAN KURDI also now face a 14 day quarantine aboard their own ship. They are planning to launch a new operation in May but they said that due to the coronavirus crisis, they are experiencing a drop in donations and urge people to donate so that they can continue saving lives as soon as they are able.

Photos by Capt. Lawrence Dalli. Do not use these images without my permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos –

Published – Tuesday 21st April, 2020

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© All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos –