48 survivors aboard the SEA-EYE 4 reach Vibo Valentia

Four bodies handed over to Italian authorities

On Sunday evening, all 48 survivors, including 32 men, 13 women, one child and two babies, were able to disembark from the SEA-EYE 4 in Vibo Valentia. The four bodies of the people who had not survived the dramatic rescue operation on Friday morning (27.10.) were handed over to the Italian authorities.

Sarg, Disembarkation

During the rescue operation, the refugees had fled in their overcrowded rubber boat from the so-called Libyan coast guard, which had harassed the boat with dangerous manoeuvres by its coast guard vessel. In the process, some people had fallen into the water. Three people nearly drowned and their lives were in danger. The medical team managed to stabilise two patients. The third person was a pregnant woman whose unborn baby’s heartbeat could no longer be detected, which meant that a life-threatening situation, if not the death of the child, had to be assumed.  The pregnant woman was handed over to the Italian coast guard off Lampedusa after they refused to carry out an urgent medical evacuation by helicopter.

A mother identified a twelve-year-old girl as her daughter among the four bodies yesterday. Her nine-year-old brother is also on board. A young man who nearly drowned identified a deceased woman as his wife. At least two people have been missing friends since the encounter with the so-called Libyan coast guard.

“The actions of the so-called Libyan Coast Guard on Friday showed once again how dangerous this militia is. They are not sea rescuers. They are not about protecting life. We document and publish their ruthlessness and incompetence again and again, but nothing changes. The cooperation of the EU states with these violent militias must finally be stopped,” says Gorden Isler, chairman of Sea-Eye e. V.

Press release on the rescue operation (27.10.23): https://sea-eye.org/en/pregnant-woman-fights-for-her-life-on-sea-eye-4-italy-sends-no-help/