Twenty seven immigrants reached the Port
of Pozzallo this morning
at dawn thanks to the prompt response of the men of the AeroNaval section of
the Messina Finance Police. As has already happened several times this summer,
their signal was picked up on the island
of Malta, where their 8 metre dinghy was
Initial reports from the First Reception Centre
where the immigrants were taken, state that they spent four days at sea. Out of
the twenty seven Africans, the majority state to be of sub Saharan origin but
there are also two from North Guinea. It is
understood that there were 38 aboard when the vessel left Tunisia.
The now well-tested synergy with the Maltese
navy has ensured that all interventions have been immediate and thorough. The
immigrants ran into their first problems after several days of extreme heat,
close to the small Mediterranean island. The Maltese Navy intercepted 38
immigrants 25 miles
south of the coast. Climbing on board the dinghy, 11 people went with the
military in order to receive hospital treatment. Dehydration was the main
problem. The other 27 aboard stated that they wished to continue their journey
The Maltese Navy put up no resistance.
In the meantime, the news that 27 immigrants
were travelling towards Sicily had reached as
far as Messina,
where the commandant of AeroNavy, Giuseppe Minutoli, gave clear plans on how to
intervene. In this case, the Coast Guard «G.100 Lippi» of the Manovra Naval
Base in Messina
was immediately informed. The Coast Guard was already involved in the
surveillance of the local and national coastline as part of a programme against
illegal immigration and human trafficking and was therefore well equipped to
deal with the situation.
The immigrants arrived in Pozzallo at around 5.30 this
morning. After having eaten and registering their personal details, the
immigrants gave reports of several other Africans on the Lybian and Tunisian coast
preparing to leave for Italy.
It is clear that these are likely to be the last spate of crossings for Europe before Autumn arrives. Except for exceptional
cases, September has always been considered the last month for boat arrivals.
This year many of those in charge of the boats have been imprisoned. In other
words therefore, without dinghies and without those who organise the journeys,
plus the imminent arrival of October and its choppy seas, the
“season” of crossing the Mediterranean seems to be about to draw to a
close. It is also for these reasons, that there has been an increase in
arrivals in recent days.
Housed in the First Reception Centre in Pozzallo,
the immigrants are soon to be transferred to other Centres. Part of the building
where they are currently located is uninhabitable as the result of a riot a few