Coast Guard ship KBV 002 has saved 341 people from two inflatables and a wooden boat on Sunday. Another 232 migrants have been received from a warship. Triton is now heading to Italy with 573 people aboard and two deceased.
“We who work in the area north of Libya have had an intense day with many seafaring. The good weather can be a contributing factor to the fact that many people go to sea”, says commander Peo Allard.
The alarm of a rubber boat in seaward came via the MRCC rescue center in Rome just before seven o’clock on Sunday morning. The KBV 002 went directly to the specified position, but more boats in seaward were detected and KBV 002 had to make several changes in the course of the morning.
Shortly after lunch, the first two sea rescue initiatives were launched: two rubber boats with a total of 265 people on board. One of the inflatables missed the engine and drifted smoothly. Gasoline had leaked into the dungeon and several of the people who were at the bottom had had chemical burns.
“The rubber boats used by the smugglers are of very poor quality and when overloaded with humans, they become dangerous,” says commander Peo Allard.
The third sea rescue began about an hour later about 40 nautical miles north of Libya’s coast: a wooden boat with 78 people aboard, of which many children and women.
Damaged from previous maritime rescues
The last effort was made on Sunday evening when 232 people rescued by a Spanish warship were taken on board the KBV 002. Among these were two deceased and several injured. The cause of death has not yet been established and healthcare professionals work with other staff to provide the injured care until reaching the country.
“Everyone on board has done a great job and it continues until we reach a port in Italy. Having more than 500 people on board puts high demands on the crew. Injured and ill need care, children need food and pregnant supervision, says Peo Allard.
The KBV 002 now goes to a designated port in Italy. There migrants are handed over to Italian authorities and NGOs for nursing, identification and registration.
This is the third time that KBV 002 is engaged in several maritime rescue missions one day after the start of the operation on June 1, 2017.
Border control results
Sea rescue is the activity that is most apparent from the work carried out by the crew. But law enforcement is another important task.
“Last week’s maritime rescue led us to detect four suspects for acting as smugglers or aides. These were handed to Italian police when we reached port, says commander Peo Allard.
Coast Guard assists Italy
Until August 31, Coast Guard participates with the KBV 002 vessel in operation Triton. The mission is to assist Italy with surveillance of the EU’s external border, and to save lives at sea. An initiative led by Frontex, the EU Border and Coast Guard Agency. The mission also includes coastal surveillance tasks in addition to border control and seagoing, such as environmental and fisheries surveillance and detection of cross-border crime.
The crew on board KBV 002 consists of personnel from the Coast Guard and the Police, as well as a healthcare professional from the Swedish Civil Protection and Emergency Agency, MSB.