One month after the end of our first mission, the ResQ People sails again: direction Central Med Sea, the deadliest border in the world. Our ship departed from Porto Empedocle, Sicily, with a crew of 21 people coming from four different Countries.

Amongst them there are both maritime professionals and specialised volunteers to assist the survivors,  a doctor and a nurse, cultural mediators, rescuers, a logistician and a cook.

SATURDAY 9 – sunday 10

Just a few hours after departure, the ResQ People carried out a rescue. During the night between saturai and sunday, after receiving an alert via Navtex, the ResQ People reached a boat in distress and saved the 59 people on board. Their small wooden boat had departed from Zuwara, Libya, about 24 hours before. They had no fuel, water or food left. 

Una donna sorridente, con indosso un giubbotto di salvataggio, e due soccorritori della ResQ People

Amongst the 59 people rescued there are 6 women, one in the final stage of pregnancy, and 17 minors. Survivors mainly come from Syria, Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt, as well as from Yemen, Nigeria, Libya, the Gambia, Ivory Coast: a sad atlas of war, inequalities and poverty. During the evening, the ResQ People requested a Place of Safety to all the relevant maritime authorities. 

sunday, october 10

Aboard our ship, we assist our guests. “If the ResQ People wasn’t there, they may be dead. But we arrived on time and they’re here, they’re safe” – says Lia Manzella, vicepresident of ResQ. “And they’re safe only thanks to the generosity of all the citizens that support ResQ: thank you!” 

support our ship
Evacuazione medica di un paziente, con la Guardia Costiera italiana

Monday, october 10

We alerted the Italian authorities of a critical case on board and asked for a medical evacuation of the patient: a young boy with previous, severe medical conditions that requested immediate attention at a hospital level. We headed as fast as we could in the direction of Lampedusa, Italy, where we were joined by the Italian Coast Guard (thanks!) who proceeded to evacuate the patient.

Il gommone indicato da Alarm Phone (Foto di Victor Britto)
Late in the morning we were informed by Alarm Phone of a possible distress case between Libyan and Maltese SAR zone. The coordinates were around 100 nautical miles from our position – more than 11 hours – but since today we are the only rescue vessel in Central Med, we decide to go South. It’s a race against time – and we lost. When we arrive on the scene, near the oil platform of Sabratha, we only find an abandoned rubber boat. The Libyans were here before. The people on board were safe from the water, maybe, but returned to violence and human traffickers. A violation of human rights, funded by European Union.

wednesday, october 13

Aboard the ResQ People we assist our guests: nurse and doctor check everybody, we prepare and serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, and we spend some time together while we must wait for the authorities to assign us a Place of Safety. Our cultural mediator improvised an Italian class: “Io mi chiamo“, my name is, “Da dove vieni?”, where are you from?

Lezione di italiano a bordo della ResQ People (Foto di Maso Notarianni)
La gioia a bordo all'annuncio di un porto sicuro (Foto di Maso Notarianni)

thursday, october 14

We have a Place of Safety assigned by the Italian authorities! We sailed to Pozzallo, where we arrived late in the evening. Joy explodes among the survivors: for being rescued from the sea and for being rescued by the Libyan hell. They are finally sure that no one will be returned to the human traffickers. We are going to Europe, we are going home. 

friday, october 15

The ResQ People moored in Pozzallo and disembarked the 58 people still on board. Our ship and the crew has to observe a mandatory 10-days quarantine at the anchor, in front of the harbour.

A rescue is completed only after the disembarkment in a Place of Safety. It is a great emoticon to watch these survivors touch the ground. Our second mission ends today, now let’s get ready for the next one: join us on board, support our ship. 

support our ship read our logbook of mission 1
Lo sbarco a Pozzallo (Foto di Maso Notarianni)