The Malta Independent 8 May 2021, Saturday

Updated: 70 migrants rescued and taken to Lampedusa

Saturday, 13 October 2018, 09:29 Last update: about 4 years ago

70 migrants were rescued from a boat and disembarked on Lampedusa early this morning, news reports read.

The vessel was 18 nautical miles off Lampedusa.

The NGO ship Mare Jonio answered an alert issued by Malta and went to rescue the distressed migrants, however by the time it arrived, the vessel had drifted closer to Lampedusa and the Italiaan Coast Guard had brought the people ashore.

The Maltese government in a statement in response to a news article by the Italian news agency ANSA, said: "The government denies allegations from an Italian NGO vessel and reported by Italian news agency ANSA, that there was any shortcoming by the Maltese authorities with regards to a rescue operation that took place in the past hours. RCC Malta took all necessary action in accordance with the practice and legal obligations. All entities including AFM assets and Italian assets were contacted by RCC Malta and a maritime broadcast was issued for all vessels in the vicinity. The NGO vessel 'Mare Jonio' whilst responding to the urgent message broadcast, did not intercept or conduct any rescue of the said boat. Both RCC Malta and MRCC Rome were in continuous contact and coordination regarding this boat. The migrants' boat was intercepted by the Italian Coast Guard off the coast of Lampedusa."

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