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24 February 2024

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On Friday 23rd February, 2024 the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) Operations Centre based at Luqa Barracks received a phone call around 1045 hrs stating that around 3-5 miles east of Malta there was a boat with immigrants heading to shore. Immediately AFM notified the aircraft that was airborne to go to the area and access the situation of which it confirmed that a blue 25 feet open boat with 2 outboard and around 34 souls were onboard.

Immediately an Inshore Patrol Craft (IPC) that was in the south of Malta, was dispatched to the area and started a rescue operation with those onboard went on one side and automatically the boat listed and capsized. We all know that most of the migrants don’t know how to swim and they panic a lot and unfortunately 5 souls including a woman died.

The AFM IPC requested other assets to help including the Civil Protection Department (CPD) of which the fast response craft DELTA 2 was dispatched from her base at Marsa.

An estimated 34 souls from Syria, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Egypt were in the boat at the time, according to the AFM.

All of them were disembarked at Haywharf Base both at P 71 berth (which currently she’s abroad) and at Protector Class OPV pontoon ( Currently P 52 slipped at MIYY) with the Boomeranger RHIB P 04 using it too of which both places were with Mater Dei Hospital (MDH) Emergency Department (ED) led by Dr Jonathan Joslin.

21 souls were taken to the Safi detention centre for processing issues while 8 souls were hospitalised at MDH for further examinations.

According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the boat left Tripoli, Libya

 

 

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