Late last night, three Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) patrol vessels rescued a group of 83 persons from onboard a 10-metre long rubber dinghy which began taking in water, from a position some 31 nautical miles (NM) South of Malta.
The AFM's Rescue and Coordination Centre (RCC-Malta) at Luqa Barracks, was alerted earlier on Friday about the boat and subsequently, the AFM Air Wing's King Air Maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) was also scrambled into the air and conducted a search for the reported dinghy in the area.
The AFM’s King Air successfully located the persons on the rubber dinghy and then directed a Maritime Squadron Patrol Craft to the area in order to render assistance. Worsening sea conditions through the night made the operation quite challenging for AFM assets.
The group of persons onboard the dinghy was made up of 82 men and 1 woman. The migrants onboard AFM Patrol boats P21, P22 and Melita 2 landed at the Maritime Squadron's base at circa 01:30hrs of this morning. Migrants are claiming to be of Somali Origin.