Stranded GOLFO AZZURRO heads north towards Sicily after more than 24 hours in maritime limbo – 08.08.2017
A rescue vessel which spent more than 24 hours drifting just outside Malta’s territorial waters has headed north towards Sicily and she’s currently 14.7 nautical miles off Pozzallo Port.
Meanwhile the Guardia Costiera CP 300 Class Patrol craft CP 325 left Pozzallo Port at 1555 hrs to meet GOLFO AZZURRO although it is not yet clear whether the ship’s crew and passengers will be allowed into Italy.
The vessel, which is carrying three migrants aboard, was stranded in international waters following a diplomatic tug-of-war between Italian and Maltese authorities.
The ship’s captain originally planned to disembark in Lampedusa but diverted towards Malta after Italian authorities denied her entry into its ports, allegedly saying Barcelona-based NGO Proactiva Open Arms, which is running the rescue operation, had failed to comply with a recently-introduced code of conduct.
Maltese authorities also declined to green light the ship’s entry, insisting that international maritime law clearly stated that the ship had to be granted entry to the nearest port of call – in this case Lampedusa.
Images of CP 325 and GOLFO AZZURRO – www.maltashipphotos.com
Proactiva Open Arms said on Twitter that a second boat it operates received a threatening radio call from the Libyan coastguard on Monday morning while patrolling international waters some 13 miles from the Libyan coast between Tripoli and Zuara.
A spokesperson for the NGO told Reuters that the Libyan coastguard had fired shots into the air in the direction of the boat. The NGO also published a video of the alleged incident on Twitter.