At midnight on Saturday five women and a man – irregular migrants – were brought to Malta as they needed medical help. They were on a boat of 67 migrants heading towards Sicily. The 62 migrants claiming to be from Somalia have now arrived in Sicily.
The Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) said that at about 1155hrs on Saturday an AFM King Air B200 Aircraft out on patrol, informed the Operation Centre in Luqa that a green dinghy with persons on board was sighted 23.5nm south of Dingli. The dinghy was making way on its own steam heading towards Sicily.
An Inshore Patrol Vessel from the Maritime Squadron (P23) was dispatched to the area to assist these persons on board the dinghy. After arriving to the area P23 confirmed that there were 66 persons on board and at that migrants required no assistance. P23 closely monitored the dinghy as it continued moving unassisted in a northerly direction.
Subsequently ,a protector Class Patrol Boat (P51) left Haywharf Base and took over the monitoring duties from P23 .At around 1900hrs the patrol boat on site assessed that 6 migrants might require medical assistance and informed the operations room accordingly.
The Operations Centre at Luqa Barracks diverted a Search and Rescue Launch (Melita I) to the area to carry out the medical evacuation.
At 22.00hrs Melita 1 left the area with the 6 persons on board and arrived at Hay Wharf Base at 2341hrs. The dinghy with 61 migrants proceeded unassisted in a northerly direction. The P51 shadowed the dinghy to ensure safe passage.
Once the dinghy entered Italian Search and rescue region, it was handed to the competent Italian Authorities.