Malta rescues nearly 100 migrants from sinking dinghy

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

VALLETTA – Malta’s armed forces have rescued a group of 95 migrants from a sinking dinghy between Libya and Malta and brought them ashore, authorities said Monday. The volunteer organization Alarm Phone accused Maltese authorities of “systematic delays” in their rescue efforts.

A group of 95 people in distress at sea was rescued by Malta’s Armed Forces on Monday. According to migrant emergency hotline Alarm Phone, their boat ran into engine trouble and began taking on water early Sunday morning.

Citing people on board as saying “We are dying,” Alarm Phone tweeted increasingly serious updates and repeatedly accused Maltese authorities of not responding to their calls.

On Monday around noon, Alarm Phone said Malta’s Armed Forces had rescued the 95 migrants. Quoting government sources, local news outlet Times of Malta said the migrants were rescued “very far” from Maltese shores, albeit within Malta’s search-and-rescue (SAR) zone.

A spokesperson for the Armed Forces of Malta on Monday said that the rescued migrants were brought to a military base near the capital Valletta.

According to Alarm Phone, Maltese authorities waited well over 30 hours — from the first contact Sunday morning until sometime on Monday — until the armed forces intervened. While the exact time of rescue is unknown, Times of Malta reported the migrants arrived in Malta “at about 8 pm” Monday evening.



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