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NEW ITALO-MALTESE JOINT RESCUE OPERATION AT SEA

During the night between the 28th and 29th of October the Italian Guardia Costiera assisted Maltese naval vessels in the rescue of over 40 migrants, who were then brought to Malta.  The operation, coordinated by the  Operational Centres  for search and rescue at sea of the two Countries, took place circa 90 miles south of the Maltese archipelago, in Search and Rescue Maltese waters.

This is a new example of the collaboration between the Italian and Maltese Authorities in addition to the rescue, in the afternoon of Friday 11th October, of a boat with approximately 250 migrants aboard which had overturned in the Strait of Sicily  60 miles south of Lampedusa, within the Maltese Search and Rescue area. Thanks to the coordination between Rome and Valletta,  naval vessels and aircraft of the Maltese and Italian Armed Forces were promptly at the site of the shipwreck. A helicopter of the Italian Military Mission deployed in Malta went to the site to evacuate some of the migrants to hospitals in Italy.  The operation enabled the rescue of over 200 lives.

The efficient collaboration in rescue operations at sea goes on even after the phase of bringing the migrants on shore.  In this sense an exchange of information between the competent authorities, made easier by humanitarian agencies and by the Red Cross, continues with the aim of  reunifying  the families with minors separated from their parents (some of whom were brought to Malta).

The joint operation between Italy and Malta had been the subject of a telephone conversation between  Maltese Prime Minister Muscat and the Hon Prime Minister Letta during which the importance of bilateral collaboration was highlighted as well as  the need of the adoption by the European Union of concrete measures in the migration field to avoid further tragedies in the Mediterranean.