Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Spring has come to the Mediterranean and better conditions at sea bring with them more boatloads of desperate souls seeking a better life.

On Monday night alone, 13 boats carrying, between them, around 1,532 migrants were rescued in the Sicilian Channel by the Italian Navy and Coast Guard. Rescue ships were still trying to reach other migrant boats that had run into trouble as these figures were being reported.

South of Lampedusa naval ships saved 596 migrants, including 141 women and 116 minors. The majority of these, like the migrants rescued from other overloaded and inadequate boats, are believed to be from Syria, Palestine and Eritrea. The migrants were transferred to another ship on which they were given medical care and where representatives of the NGO Fondazione Rava NPH were on hand to help. Police were also on board to try to identify the migrants. Today some of them were brought to Pozzallo.

Latest estimates are that, in the last 48 hours, the Italian Navy, Coast Guard and three Italian Merchant Navy ships assigned to Operazione Mare Nostrum have saved 2,128 migrants.  UNHCR has said that the operations were an example for other countries to follow.

The Italian Navy has been involved in 76 rescue operations since the launch of Operazione Mare Nostrum in the autumn and 10,134 migrants, including 713 women and 1,019 children, have been rescued at sea.

Tonight, as so often since I came to Sicily, my thoughts are with all migrants and those who seek to save and help them.


Lee said...

And today, 20th March (Aussie time) is International day of Happiness.

How wonderful it would be if an incurable happiness pandemic spread throughout the world.

Trubes said...

Oh Dear! Those poor souls, whatever will become of them, are they allowed to stay in Italy or wherever they can, to get financial aid and housing etc?
I guess many of them will head for the UK, which is a worrying thing as we're busting at the seams with illegal immigrants, let alone legal ones.
Trusting you and dear Simi are
well, how old is Simi now?
Chloe will be 12 in August.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

It certainly would, Lee. Hi, Di. Yes, poor souls indeed. Well, they have to be identified first and then their cases will be considered. They may spend months in a holding centre. Some elect to stay in Italy, some are sent back - though they can't, of course, be sent back to places of danger - and most want to travel onwards to northern Europe. Many escape and no one knows what becomes of them.
Simi is 15 now. Love xx


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