from Blog Sicilia – A successful collaboration between Italy and Malta enabled the rapid rescue at sea, at about 50 miles south east of Lampedusa, of a dinghy carrying 123 migrants, including 27 women and a two-month old newborn. The alarm was raised this morning, shortly after 9 am, by a Cypriot fishing vessel who informed the Maltese authorities of the presence of a dinghy with migrants aboard heading for Italy.
The information was passed on to the General Commander of the Port Authorities, who working with the Maltese authorities, decided to send out one of their aircrafts (Atr42) as well as two patrol boats from Lampedusa. Once the dinghy had been located and reached, members of the coastguard considered it necessary to transfer the migrants aboard the patrol boats for safety reasons. The patrol boats are currently heading towards Lampedusa and expected to arrive around 1800 hours. The naval ship The Bettica also participated in the rescue operation. Its personnel provided first aid assistance to some of the migrants.