#CrimesOfMalta: The Maltese Rescue Coordination Centre refuses its duty to coordinate rescues of people in distress at sea in its own search and rescue zone, deliberately accepting the risk of endangering human life.
13 to 14 February 2020:
34 people on board a wooden boat in distress call Watch the Med – Alarm Phone, who report the case to the Maltese authorities. That same evening, all ships in the area are notified of the distress case and asked to contact the Maltese Rescue Coordination Center. However, Malta itself does nothing to rescue the people.
One day later, our monitoring aircraft Moonbird spots the boat still drifting in the Maltese Search and Rescue Zone, and also informs the authorities. In the end, 18 hours after AlarmPhone had alerted the authorities about the case for the first time, a patrol boat of the Armed Forces Malta arrives, rescues the people and brings them to Malta.
In the series #CrimesOfMalta, we reconstruct 10 human rights violations in 10 weeks, which were also witnessed by our grounded airplane Moonbird.